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The Sparks

I'm chuffed that my first poetry pamphlet, The Sparks, is selling well thanks to the support of those who attended both the London launch of it alongside Emily Berry's excellent Stingray Fevers; the Sheffield launch with Matthew Clegg, Helen Mort and others; and those who've bought a copy through the tall-lighthouse website. The warm reception that myself and other Pilot poets received at this year's StAnza festival was also great; people chatting and buying copies of pamphlets in the series after the Pilot reading. Cheers.

If any readers of the Wasteland are yet to get a copy however, and are interested, I've some of my own which I'm more than happy to scribble in and send out, UK postage free (£4). Just drop me an email (on my profile page). They're also available from the tall-lighthouse website, along with new pamphlets in the Pilot series by Amy Key and Sarah Lowe, and the just-published Shiver, Alan Buckley's first pamphlet, awarded the Poetry Book Society's Pamphlet Choice for Spring 2009.

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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 …

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…