The Collected

My ‘Collected Poems’, published by Shearsman in 2008, is limited almost entirely to work dating from since the early 1970s. By then I had already been writing for around fifteen years – a huge stretch of work, all neatly filed away, a fair amount of which had appeared in magazines, starting with the school magazine back in the 1950s.

The book falls into seven sections. ‘Out Walking’ contains almost all my Anvil collection of that title, which appeared in 1984. ‘Dust Settled’ is work some of which was published in ‘And Ada Ann’ and in the first Many Press pamphlet ‘Six of Five’ but which didn’t find its way into the Anvil book. Next, ‘Blood and Dreams’ – “Well that covers just about everything” remarked John Ashbery when I told him this was the title of my forthcoming book, published by Reality Street in 1991. ‘The Concrete Shrine’ contains a set of sequences not collected elsewhere, each attached to a particular place. ‘Greeting Want’ again reproduces, with only minor changes or excisions, the collection that appeared in 1997 from infernal methods. ‘The Eastern Boroughs’ was my first Shearsman book, in 2004. The final section in The Collected is ‘The Wind Harp’. Otherwise the Aeolian Harp, this is the instrument that which fascinated me as a child (it’s the starting point of a chapter in ‘Dreaming Arrival’). This section comprises more recent work, not previously collected.

All thanks to Tony Frazer of Shearsman for this very handsome production. And to Amanda Welch for the cover, which is taken from her ‘Hackney Downs’ project – more about this project and her other work at

The book was reviewed online by:
Andy Brown in Stride
Peter Hughes in Intercapillary Space
Tom Lowenstein in Signals

And in print by:
Ian Brinton in Tears in the Fence / 48,
James Sutherland-Smith in PN Review / 135
Peter Robinson in Poetry London / 62
Peter Riley in Use of English 60 / 2