Don Paterson: Writers and their Work (Liverpool University Press, forthcoming 2021)
Don Paterson is one of Britain’s leading contemporary poets. A popular writer as well as a formidably intelligent one, he has won both a dedicated readership and most of Britain’s major poetry prizes, including the T. S. Eliot Prize on two occasions, the Forward Prize in every category, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. In this first comprehensive study of Paterson’s poetry, Ben Wilkinson presents him as a modern-day metaphysical, whose work is characterised by guileful use of form, musicality, colloquial diction and playful wit, in pursuit of poetry as a moral and philosophical project. Drawing on a wide range of commentators, Wilkinson traces Paterson’s development from collection to collection, providing detailed analyses of the poems framed by theoretical and literary contexts. An essential guide for students, specialists, and the general reader of contemporary poetry alike, it confirms Paterson as a major lyric poet.
For the past decade and a half, I have regularly reviewed poetry and occasionally fiction as a critic for The Guardian and The Times Literary Supplement, and for magazines including The Poetry Review.
Below is a (very) select list of those variously available online, or else reproduced here.
Guardian profile (details of all poetry reviews published in The Guardian Review)
'Squaring the Circle', review of Don Paterson's 40 Sonnets, Times Literary Supplement 16 March 2016
'The Three Ages of Muldoon', review of Paul Muldoon's One Thousand Things Worth Knowing, Poetry Review, Vol. 105 No. 1, Spring 2015
Review of Nick Laird's Go Giants, The Edinburgh Review
'A case of After', review of Glyn Maxwell's Pluto, Times Literary Supplement, 13 December 2013
'Love of disorder', review of David Herd's All Just, Times Literary Supplement, 15 March 2013
'At least to resist', review of James Lasdun's Water Sessions, Times Literary Supplement, No 5723, 7 December 2012
'Dozens of Dennises', review of Simon Armitage's Seeing Stars, Times Literary Supplement, No 5613, 29 October 2010