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The Burning Perch

A snappy - and hopefully accessible and informative - piece on Louis MacNeice's best and last collection, The Burning Perch, features in the second issue of YM, the Poetry Society's online magazine for new young readers and writers of poetry. Do take a look, and once you've been persuaded, you can pick up the excellent Collected Poems here.

Comments

A persuasive little piece. MacNeice is a favourite, but I only know his work from various anthologies and online compilations and Snow was probably the first thing I read. I've ordered The Burning Perch and will work up to Collected Poems. Thanks for the introduction to YM. I'll forward it to my poetry writing daughter.
Rob said…
Nice piece, Ben. I've just read more or less all of the Collected Poems (secondhand from a charity shop, £2.99). I loved the pre-war stuff - Autumn Journal is just brilliant. I found his wartime poetry uneven, but great in places. Got to say, I agree with you that the 1950s output was often pretty tedious, but even Autumn Sequel (which I read in its 113-page entirety, and I suspect few have) had its moments of brilliance. But yes, The Burning Perch stuff is fantastic. How anyone could write such a terrific poem about soapsuds is a lesson to us all!

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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 …