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My Night's in Cupid's Palace

This past week, I've bought some new (and not quite so new) poetry books, and all, alongside Orhan Pamuk's prose memoirs Istanbul, are thoroughly enjoyable yet very different reads: among them Frances Leviston's debut, Tom Paulin's Liberty Tree and Martha Kapos's My Nights in Cupid's Palace.

The latter has struck me especially as Kapos's poetic voice is quiet, subtle and extremely succinct, but at the same time often affecting and resourcefully imaginative. Though the collection on the whole is largely consistent and enjoyable, then, it is perhaps worth reading if only for a few of its more sparkling and moving poems, and the ones which struck me in particular were the rhythms of 'The Swing', the quiet desolation of 'Lost Profile', but most of all the carefully unpacked and suggestive metaphors of 'Finding My Bearings', a poem you can read on Todd Swift's Eyewear from when Kapos was a featured poet. Have a look here.

Otherwise, I'm starting work (work in that I'm being paid for it; otherwise it's much more fun) reading and rereading through collections by Penelope Shuttle and Daljit Nagra, in research preparation for critical perspectives for the British Council's Contemporary Writers site (see 'Reviews and Other Stuff' in the sidebar). And writing and editing some more of my own poems: Blake, swans and angels, as it goes. Will be interesting to see, as ever, where exactly they take me.

Comments

Cailleach said…
Good to see you back Ben - you were missed. Great news about the MA and the work too - keep going!
Ben Wilkinson said…
Thanks, Barbara - glad to see your first collection launched; I look forward to reading, and hopefully reviewing, it in the near future.

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About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

You can find B…

Way More Than Luck (Seren Books, 2018)

From the thumping heartbeat of the distance runner to the roar of football terraces across the decades, Ben Wilkinson’s debut confronts the struggles and passions that come to shape a life. Beginning with an interrogation of experiences of clinical depression and the redemptive power of art and running, the collection centres on a series of vivid character portraits, giving life to some of football's legends. By turns frank, comic, sinister and meditative – ‘the trouble with you, son, is that all your brains are in your head’ – these poems uncover the beautiful game’s magic and absurdity, hopes and disappointments, as striking metaphors for our everyday dramas. Elsewhere there are tender love poems, political satire and strange dream worlds, in an urgently lyrical book of poems that take many forms and modes of address: pantoum, sonnet, sestina; epistle, confession, dramatic monologue. All are united by a desire to speak with searching clarity about matters of the heart. Way More …