Skip to main content

Glyn Maxwell

Glyn Maxwell seems an interesting and extremely varied writer of poems, and a poet I intend to read more of in the coming months, having only come across bits of his collaborations with Armitage way back in Moon Country, written when the New Gen promo packed the two off to Iceland together. But he's come to my attention recently in spotting this wonderful and inventive poem in The Guardian Review just after xmas; an impressive long poem which is by turns exhilarating and humorous, but also wonderfully rhymed and metrically well executed. But then with the following review quotes spanning his decade-and-some writing career so far, I feel like I must've been missing out on something good:


No-one treats English quite like the clapped-out motor Maxwell clearly thinks it is. He kicks it, he re-vamps it, he customizes it. He leads you up syntactic blind alleys and gets you doing semantic U-turns that leave the hair bristling - Adam Thorpe, Observer

Glyn Maxwell covers a greater distance in a single line than most people do in a poem - Joseph Brodsky

His range is vast, his energy unlimited, his temperement restless and risk-taking... Maxwell looks well on his way to becoming the complete modern English poet - Poetry Review

Beautiful and moving and authentic poetry can be written today, and we know this not least because Glyn Maxwell is writing it’– The New Republic


Before I invest in any collections, then, I'd be interested to know if any readers of Maxwell have any favourites, or any particular opinions of his work?

Comments

Matt Merritt said…
It depends what you want - those reviews (the first three at least) sound to me like they apply more to the first three collections. You can get them all under one cover, from Bloodaxe, as The Boys At Twilight.
The Breakage and The Nerve are less daring, and arguably less exciting, tending to feel more traditional. They're excellent in parts, but a bit TOO well-crafted at times.
The Sugar Mile is well worth buying, though. It doesn't always work, but it's a good read.
Andrew Shields said…
My favorite collection of his is "The Breakage," but my favorite Maxwell book is "The Sugar Mile."

The first three collections are wonderfully SASSY.
Ben Wilkinson said…
Thanks for this, Matt and Andy. I'll probably start with The Boys At Twilight - get a bit of an overview before I decide whether to buy anything else.

Popular posts from this blog

Way More Than Luck: 27.2.18 - the launch

Some tips on putting your pamphlet together — winner of the 2013/14 International Book & Pamphlet Competition

There's only this weekend left to submit your pamphlet of poems to the most prestigious pamphlet competition in the land: The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition 2020

This year's judges are the hugely celebrated writers Imtiaz Dharker and Ian McMillan. Find out more, and enter online, here. You've got until midnight this Sunday 1st March.

Here are some tips I've put together, as winner of the 2013/14 competition for my short collection For Real. Good luck!

• First off, I should mention it took me a good few years to get the pamphlet into shape, and like almost every winner, I entered the competition more than once before winning. Treat the experience as a learning curve: the positive pressure of a deadline and of your work being judged carefully and seriously will help you to improve whatever the outcome.

• Front-load your pamphlet. Every editor in the land knows that you put the very best poems at the front of a book. The first three poems in your pamphlet s…

Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION
Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse


Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…