Short and sweet poems and sonnets or lyrical and lengthy epics, sit back and relax while you enjoy the work of these wonderful wordsmiths.
From the beginning, the poet was a wanderer, a storyteller, an imaginer of bridges between worlds. Zaffar Kunial is just such a poet and guide for us today. Yet his territory extends much further afield than those of the past - through Kashmir, where his father was born and now lives, to the Midlands of his mother's birth, and further north to ancestors in Orkney, as well as through language, memory and time. Already an acknowledged star of the Faber New Poets scheme, Kunial has won admirers in such measure as to ensure that Us is one of the most anticipated debuts in recent times. Across its pages, he vocalises what it means to be a human being planting your two feet upon the dizzying earth - and he does so delicately, urgently, intimately - in some of the most original and touching ways that you will read.
From William Shakespeare to Carol Ann Duffy, our most popular and best loved poets and poems are gathered in one essential collection, alongside many lesser known treasures that are waiting to be discovered. These are poems that help you to see the miraculous in the commonplace and turn the everyday into the exceptional - to discover, in Kipling's words, that yours is the Earth and everything that's in it.
A distillation of prescriptions given – and taken – on William Sieghart’s online Poetry Pharmacy. No harm to be got from these prescriptions, instead there is comfort, love, advice and experience aplenty. I was immediately taken by the poems of Hafiz, a C14 Persian poet, short sublime poems, had to google to find more so a poets index would have been useful. As anthologies such as this are useful springboards, short author biographies would too have been welcomed. Overall though, a calming collection of words for troubled souls and lovely to have a cloth bound book to treasure. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times by Neil Astley The Novel Cure: An A to Z of Literary Remedies by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin
When I first read the title of this book, I was unsure what to expect. To my delight I discovered a collection of quite beautiful and extremely emotive poems. To analyse any would be to completely spoil the intense feeling that I had when I read them. Frequently I find poetry collections from a single poet rather disappointing as I will only engage with a few of them. Here, however, I found myself drawn in by the subject matter and beautifully evocative language of each individual poem. This is a book that I should like to own and to read and reread. I welcome the experience of discovering it. Val Rowe, A LoveReading Ambassador
From a motorway service area to her ambivalent relationship with religion, Wendy Cope covers a wide range of experience in her new collection. Her mordant humour and formal ingenuity are in evidence, even as she remembers the wounds of a damaging childhood; and in poems about love and the inevitable problems of ageing she achieves an intriguing blend of sadness and joy. Two very different sets of commissioned poems round off a remarkable volume, whose opening poem sounds clearly the profound note of compassion which underlies the whole.
Wendy Cope has long been one of the nation's best-loved poets, with her sharp eye for human foibles and wry sense of humour. For the first time, Life, Love and the Archers brings together the best of her prose - recollections, reviews and essays from the light-hearted to the serious, taken from a lifetime of published and unpublished work, and all with Cope's lightness of touch. Here readers can meet the Enid-Blyton-obsessed schoolgirl, the ambivalent daughter, the amused teacher, the sensitive journalist, the cynical romantic and the sardonic television critic, as well as touching on books and writers who have informed a lifetime of reading and writing. Wendy Cope is a master of the one-liner as well as the couplet, the telling review as well as the sonnet, and Life, Love and the Archers gives us a wonderfully entertaining and unforgettable portrait of one of England's favourite writers. A book for anyone who's ever fallen in love, tried to give up smoking, or consoled themselves that they'll never be quite as old as Mick Jagger.
July 2011 Guest Editor Alexander McCall Smith on Poems... In my view Auden is without equal among twentieth century poets. His is a profound voice, full of insight and wisdom. This is a handsome edition of his work. I first picked Auden’s Collected Shorter Poems off the shelf of a library. I had no idea at the time that this book would influence me so much. In fact, I think it changed my life, in that it very profoundly affected my outlook on so many things. Now I press that volume into the hands of anybody who asks me what to read.
Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2021. Victoria Kennefick's daring first book, Eat or We Both Starve, draws readers into seemingly recognisable set-pieces - the family home, the shared meal, the rituals of historical occasions, desire - but Kennefick forges this material into new shapes, making them viable again for exploring what it is to live with the past - and not to be consumed by it. Rebecca Goss writes: 'Victoria Kennefick writes with a fresh urgency, giving us poems that are honest and fearless. She once said: Poetry has saved my life, made my life. Reading and writing it have taught me bravery and discipline. Kennefick is unafraid to explore bereavement, sex and the female body in her poetry. She writes with a visceral originality. Her poems are rich with physical sensations. She is able to find beauty in the big subjects like sorrow and desire, offering us the finest, most startling details. Her identity as a young Irish woman is hugely important to her, something she explores with intelligence and candour. I have always felt there is nothing Victoria could not tackle. The scope in her work is exhilarating.'
In 'New Beginnings' Victoria Day-Joel chronicles some of the more important recent events in her life in verse. From finally meeting her 'man of the earth, mind of the universe' to looking for her 'home in the sun.....my new beginning' the poems describe the development of her relationship and the processes in her decision to move abroad in intimate and relatable detail. Each individual poem is followed by an eloquent explanation of the circumstances that gave rise to it. I really enjoyed the honesty and beauty of these verses and their imagery and I think readers will be left hoping that she successfully makes the move to Spain in the search for her spiritual home. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
Poetry Inspired By Oliver Fantasy & Friendship is a collection of poems I’m sure a lot of us have felt we could have written at one point in our lives or another. Following the thread of an unrequited or, as it says in the synopsis, “perhaps unrecognised” love. This collection of poems cover meeting, getting to know and desiring a person, her muse, as well as including brief italicised comments about the feelings or events that inspired the poem above. These are written quite poetically themselves. This is an indulgent collection of poetry that explores both friendship and sensual/erotic desires for a person. I think that most people will be able to find something to relate to although there is certainly bravery and honesty here in publishing these poems for all to read. There is a part of me that wonders whether Oliver is a real person and how he feels about these poems and that fact that they have been published. The tone of the collection reminds me of Andrew Lincoln’s character in Love Actually. I think there’s an argument to be had for whether these poems are a romantic gesture or perhaps should remain as private thoughts, and I think it depends on whether these poems are inspired by one person, and what their reaction is. I’m undecided about where I fall on that spectrum of debate, but taking the poetry collection on its own, I admire the vulnerability required to share these private thoughts with us and I like how it creatively explores the themes of unrequited love. This is a poetry collection that is quick and easy to get through to form your own reaction.
Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2006. Costa Book Awards 2006 Judges' comment: "Fierce poems with striking imagery and fine control of pace and tone."
The Forward Book of Poetry 2019 brings together the best poetry published in the British Isles over the last year, including the winners of the 2018 Forward Prizes. In showcasing the range and ambition of today's fresh voices alongside new work by familiar names, this anthology is a perfect introduction to contemporary poetry. 'The Forward Prizes are invaluable in finding the most essential, exciting voices, highlighting the contemporary poets who are at the top of their game and whose words will travel far and reach many readers.' Bidisha, chair of judges, Forward Prizes for Poetry 2018.