Books for Independent Thinkers

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HMP Haslar, on the far side of the Gosport peninsular, is unique in the British prison estate. Everyone locked up there is an ‘immigration detainee’. They were sent to gaol by civil servants. They have had no trial. Some of the men – who are not to be called prisoners – have been ‘held’ for more than two years. The majority are refugees. Some are survivors of torture.

In Bonehead’s Utopia a fictional ‘Haslar’ has rebelled and declared independence. It is a fairytale state, an ideal world, a state of disjuncture. In this false utopia certain members of the staff have joined the ‘perfect community’, forging a polite and tolerant new world. But there is something wrong at the heart of this fenced Eden. Everyone is welcome – but to what?

Andrew Jordan edits 10th Muse magazine and runs the bending oeuvre poetry imprint. From November 2000 to May 2001 he worked as writer-in-residence at HMP Haslar, then a Home Office Holding Centre; his article ‘Inside the Outside’ was featured in the Winter 2004/2005 edition of Poetry Review. He has written several poetry chapbooks and three previous full-length collections, including The Mute Bride (Stride, 1998) and Ha Ha (Shearsman, 2007). He lives in Southampton.

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Bonehead's Utopia