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Five Houses Down

Praise be to The New Yorker, that most revered of American cultural magazines, and to Paul Muldoon, it's poetry editor, who recently appeared on The Colbert Report, reading his poem 'Tea' and indulging Colbert's gently mocking, wry brand of humour.

Why? Because I've just found a brilliant poem by Christian Wiman on the publication's website, which conjured that instant, wonderful sensation of lifting the top of my head clean off and smashing the frozen sea of daily routine, as Emily Dickinson and Kafka would have it. I seriously encourage you to read it.

And while you're there, take a look at Don Paterson's excellent poem 'Rain', the title piece from his new Faber collection due later this year. That's another which transports you somewhere else in its cinematic sweep - a welcome detour and distraction from whatever work deadlines are looming over you this afternoon. Humorous and seriously thought-provoking - you can't ask for much more than that.

Comments

Tony Williams said…
Yes, two good poems - thanks for the distraction...
BarbaraS said…
Tried to leave a comment yesterday. I agree about Wiman's poem, and Paterson's poem - thanks for pointing them up :)
Steven Waling said…
Well, I read the poem by Paterson, and it's OK if you like de-da de-da rhythms; but frankly, I've read better flarf.

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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.

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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 …