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My Family and Other Superheroes by Jonathan Edwards

My Family and Other Superheroes

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Winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2014.

This debut collection of poetry, My Family and Other Superheroes, by Jonathan Edwards, introduces us to a vibrant new voice from Wales.

The Costa Judges said Edward's book was “Joyful and dynamic – a collection that’ll make you laugh and make you think.”

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. As a poet with a sense of fun and an infectious turn of phrase, Jonathan Edwards introduces his readers in this slim volume to such luminaries as Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, Ian Rush, Marty McFly and numerous characters who could have leaped from Monty Python sketches. For instance, he talks about a careworn mum who looks like she’s trying to mow the pavement, ruminates on the Welsh national costume, and reflects on a bicycling nun. Joy illuminates each of the 49 short poems, some of which are more thought provoking than they first appear.
~ Carl Hughes


My Family and Other Superheroes by Jonathan Edwards

Winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2014.

The superheroes in question are a motley crew. Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, Ian Rush, Marty McFly, a bicycling nun and a recalcitrant hippo - all leap from these pages and jostle for position, alongside valleys mams, dads and bamps, described with great warmth. Other poems focus on the crammed terraces and abandoned high streets where a working-class and Welsh nationalist politics is hammered out. This is a post-industrial valleys upbringing re-imagined through the prism of pop culture and surrealism. If the author's subjects have something in common with RS Thomas, or even Terry Street-era Douglas Dunn, his technique and approach owe at least as much to contemporary American poets like James Tate and David Wojahn.


'This is a rare thing: a successfully funny poem, which is imaginative, tender, and unexpected. The final image seals the whole poem with a statement of love - usually hard to pull off - which works brilliantly.' - Sinead Morrissey on 'Evel Knievel Jumps Over My Family

'This poem is marvellous. The way the subject is handled is superb, and the ending is a corker' - August Kleinzahler on 'Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren in Crumlin for the Filming of Arabesque, June 1965'

About the Author

Jonathan Edwards was born and brought up in Crosskeys, south Wales. He has an MA in Writing from the University of Warwick, has written speeches for the Welsh Assembly Government and journalism for The Big Issue Cymru, and currently works as an English teacher. He won the Terry Hetherington Award in 2010, was awarded a Literature Wales new writer's bursary in 2011, and in 2012 won prizes in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition and the Basil Bunting Award. His work has appeared in a wide range of magazines, including Poetry Review, The North, Poetry Wales and New Welsh Review.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th March 2014


Jonathan Edwards

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Seren an imprint of Poetry Wales Press


64 pages


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