Dirty, tender, ludic: All fours
Earlier in the spring, my collection of poems All fours was shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Award for poetry, part of Wales Book of the Year. Kathryn Gray from the judging panel had this to say about the book
From its opening pages, All fours reveals itself as a strange, magnetically attractive book. The deployment of language is glorious. The sound effects present, but unexpected. Attempting my first draft of this, I wrote down the key descriptors that occurred to me when I reflected on this book and its authorial voice, thinking it might simplify a swift reasoning of our verdict. That caused me some problems. Dizzying, heady, gorgeous, dirty, funny, tender, intimate, estranging, political, disturbing, international, local, ludic, vulnerable, in your face, surreal… It is a book for which the high-concept, elevator pitch is impossible to formulate. It defies any simple figure, and that is very much the point. All fours is very much of our discombobulating era. It is indeed a wild ride, but behind this lie great discipline and skill. It insisted on its inclusion, because it simply wouldn’t let us go. The hallmark of an exceptional book, in any genre.
All fours is out from Bloodaxe Books. Buy it here!
And congratulations to the Wales Book of the Year winner in English, Robert Minhinnick for his book Diary of the Last Man.