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Long and the Short of It by Roy Fisher


Long and the Short of It by Roy Fisher

This new expanded edition of The Long and the Short of It covers 55 years of Roy Fisher's poetry. Playing the language, pleasuring the imagination and teasing the senses, Fisher's witty, inventive and anarchic poetry has given lasting delight to his many dedicated readers for over half a century. Choosing this book on Desert Island Discs , Ian McMillan praised Fisher as Britain's greatest living poet . The Long and the Short of It draws on the entire range of Fisher's work, from its fraught beginnings in the 1950s through major texts of the 1960s and 1970s as City , The Ship's Orchestra and 'Wonders of Obligation' to A Furnace , his 1980s masterpiece, and and then the later work set in the scarred and beautiful North Midlands landscape where he has lived for the past 30 years, notably the Costa-shortlisted Standard Midland (2010), which has been added to this expanded edition.


'Fisher stands outside, or alongside, whatever else is happening, an English late modernist whose experiments tend to come off. He is a poet of the city - his native Birmingham, which he describes as what I think with . He is a redeemer of the ordinary, often a great artist of the visible - His range is large: he suits both extreme brevity and book-length exploration; his seeming improvisations have a way of turning into architecture. The best place to start is The Long and the Short of It . It might look and sound like nothing on earth at first, but then it becomes indispensable'

- Sean O'Brien, Guardian. 'There is no poet alive whose work has challenged or interested me more

- August Kleinzahler. 'Anyone who doubts that contemporary poetry can be intellectually and formally daring without being strictly for lecturers and fanatics should read this book

- William Wootten, Guardian.

About the Author

Roy Fisher

Roy Fisher has published over 30 poetry books, and has been the subject of numerous critical essays and several studies, including The Thing About Roy Fisher: Critical Essays on the Poetry of Roy Fisher, edited by Peter Robinson and John Kerrigan (Liverpool University Press, 2000), and of The Unofficial Roy Fisher, edited by Peter Robinson (Shearsman Books, 2010).

He has published three books with Bloodaxe. The Dow Low Drop: New & Selected Poems (1996) was superseded by his later retrospective, The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2005 (2005), and followed by his most recent collection, Standard Midland (2010), published on his 80th birthday. His first US selected poems, edited by August Kleinzahler, is due from Flood Editions in 2011.

Born in 1930 in Handsworth, Birmingham, he retired as Senior Lecturer in American Studies from Keele University in 1982. He is a freelance writer and jazz musician, and lives in Derbyshire.

Author photo © Caroline Forbes (The Poetry Archive)

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Book Info

Publication date

29th February 2012


Roy Fisher

More books by Roy Fisher
Author 'Like for Like'


Bloodaxe Books Ltd


432 pages


Poetry by individual poets



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