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American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Over 70 poems, each titled ‘American Sonnet for my Past and Future Assassin’ and shot through with the vernacular energy of popular culture, Terrance Hayes manoeuvres his way between touching domestic visions, stories of love, loss and creation, tributes to the fallen and blistering denunciations of the enemies of the good.
American Sonnets builds a living picture of the whole self, and the whole human, even as it opens to the view the dividing lines of race, gender and political oppression which define the early 21st Century. It is compassionate, hilarious, melancholy, bewildered – and unstoppably, rhythmically compelling.
Andrew Motion‘s memoir in verse Essex Clay rekindles, expands and gives a tragic resonance to subjects that have haunted the poet throughout his writing life. Deeply melancholic but as compelling as a fast-paced novel, this collection is a settling of accounts which admits that final resolutions are impossible.
Gold from the Stone: New and Selected Poems
Lemn Sissay has performed to thousands of football fans at the FA Cup Final, to hundreds of thousands as the poet of the London Olympics, and to millions across our TV screens and the airwaves of BBC Radio. This hugely enjoyable collection comes from one of the nation’s best-loved voices.
Undying: A Love Story
Michel Faber’s first poetic venture Undying honours the memory of his wife, who died after a six-year battle with cancer. From finding the love of your life to saying a final goodbye to them, this collection explores the whole spectrum of love and grief in a way that is exceptionally profound.
From the Newbery Medal winning author of The Crossover, this verse novel is both moving and exhilarating, even for those who have no love of basketball.
Venus as a Bear
Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo’s new collection Venus as a Bear ventures from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, to the freezing Welsh coastline in search of the meaning of things, and our connections with them. Shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection this year, the Telegraph described how, for Vahni, ‘Venus as a Bear is 100-plus pages of constant self-reinvention’.
England: Poems from a School
In this unique anthology, prize-winning poet Kate Clanchy brings together poems written by young people she has taught and mentored at Oxford Spires Academy. By turns raw and direct, funny and powerful, lyrical and heartbreaking, their poems document the pain of migration and the exhilaration of building a new land, an England of a thousand voices. This collection is easy to read and hard to forget, as fresh, bright and present as the young migrants who produced it.
Set in a psychiatric ward and in the Amazon rainforest, Mama Amazonica reveals the story of Pascale Petit’s mentally ill mother and the consequences of abuse. From heartbreaking trauma, there emerge luxuriant and tender portraits of a woman battling for survival, in poems that echo the plight of others under duress, and of our companion species.
‘No other British poet I am aware of can match the powerful mythic imagination of Pascale Petit.’ Les Murray
Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the 2017 Poetry Book Society Choice Award, On Balance is set against a backdrop of ecological and economic instability and revisits some of the great feats of human engineering to reveal the states of balance and inbalance that have shaped our history. Morrissey writes beautifully and with extraordinary fluency, framing images and themes with consummate skill.
Winner of the Ted Hughes Award for Poetry, Hollie McNish is considered one of the most important poets of the new generation. Plum is the story of her growing up and, candid, rude, funny, honest, it’s an absolute triumph.
‘She writes with honesty, conviction, humour and love. She points out the absurdities we’ve grown too used to and lets us see the world with fresh eyes.’ Kate Tempest
Kingdom of Gravity
In Kingdom of Gravity, his powerful debut, Nick Makoha reflects on Idi Amin’s brutal rule in Uganda and the equally atrocious civil war that ousted him. A highly gifted poet, his book demonstrates the power of poetry to speak of difficult things in a way that enlightens, rather than merely shocking.
Velkom to Inklandt
In Velkom to Inklandt, Sophie Herxheimer’s brings vividly to life the voice of her no-nonsense Grent Muzzer, Liesel, whose somewhat abrasive Perspektiff she has never been able to forget. Playing on the difficulties of the English Lenkvitch, the poems tell of an immigrant’s attempts to fit in and make her home in a new country. Funny and moving, it demands to be read aloud!