For Real (Smith|Doorstop, 2014)


'No. The catch was what you could never
let go. It's what you carried, and still do.'
                                   from 'The Catch'


Technically adroit, Ben Wilkinson’s poems are also willing to wear their heart on their sleeve. Lyrical and sometimes wistful, the best poems have a spoken contemporary quality. There is a great deal of promise in this striking collection.  

Powerfully-shaped, moving poems, lit by sound and story, that demand to be read aloud ... Wilkinson’s poems carry a brutal sense of menace and movement ... I salute Wilkinson’s confidence in true rhyme.’

‘The verse in For Real is brave, and hugely authentic.’

Ben Wilkinson is one to watch. A fine poet with a deft ear and a nice sense of how the external world presses on the inner one.
–  Nick Laird

Filmic, phantasmagoric, super-realist – in For Real, Ben Wilkinson shoots the rapids of the emerging twenty-first century’s infra- and extraordinary, in a stylish, poised lyric voice that looks built to last.
–  Paul Farley

“I can’t make you feel what I felt” (David Foster Wallace), one of the epigraphs to For Real, is a challenge to which Wilkinson rises with considerable success.

‘Wilkinson's craft carries a precision of thought and expression that’s hard to reproduce ... the poems abound with subtly used devices and effects.’

Ben Wilkinson’s For Real has a title that reads like a statement of intent – although he plays with dreams and illusion, he is also a very plain-speaking poet, who keeps his language grounded in the everyday ... Wilkinson is surely aware that such plainness is a high-stakes game, which when he pulls it off can lead beyond truisms to lines that are moving in their truth.
Clare Pollard, Poetry London

‘Wilkinson’s poems are weighty and cinematic, and his gift for finding the poetry in football terraces as well as crafting lyrical intrigue demonstrate his range and place as an up-and-coming voice on the UK poetry scene’

1 comment:

Edward Ferrari said...

£5? Bargain.