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POETRY NEW & SELECTED POEMS A. Alvarez April 2002 | Cloth | 80 pp | 9781904130079 | £8.95

“I have been greatly impressed by this book. Some of the poems I knew already, but I was unprepared for the extent of the achievement, whether in the more recent or the earlier poems. It isn’t easy in our time to write with such quiet accomplishment about the great subjects – the joys and pain of love and the contemplation of death. Alvarez has a highly individual though not an eccentric voice, and it has been unheard for too long. This volume will be an important addition to the canon of modern lyric verse.” – Frank Kermode “It is good to be reminded that A. Alvarez the anthologist and uncompromising arbiter of poetic taste has written verse of such distinction himself. The ardent music-lover gives us his own melancholy music. Let us listen.” – Alfred Brendel “Alvarez’s poems are in the thick of it: love, the altogether riskier business of love sustained, the shadows of loss and mortality. He faces these perennial dramas with a clear eye, using a lean and unadorned language to bring home to us both the cost and the chance consolations of humanness.” – David Harsent “Wonderment and gratitude, in the new poems here, reward the scarred speaker of the earlier ones, who has survived a battlefield we can all recognize, where love, happiness, hope are fragile, under threat from within. The language has forcefulness, resonance, musicality. Everything is highly charged, the changing seasons, the glimpses of London and America, never less cosily familiar – and although the poems might not seem as ‘extreme’ as they once did, the emotions in them are no less real or important or uncomfortable than ever. Does it need to be pointed out that not so long ago, this also was what poetry was supposed to be about?” – Alan Jenkins


POETRY A FEW OF HER SECRETS George Bradley February 2011 | Paperback | 70 pp | 9781904130420 | £8.99

“The poems in George Bradley’s brilliant new collection have conspiratorial accents; we find ourselves drawn into unsettling confidences, disclosures at once playful and appalling. These are poems of great formal mastery and of elegant wit and yet the artistry is suavely unobtrusive; Bradley is a practitioner of that ‘piercing virtue’ which Emily Dickinson, another connoisseur of renunciation, extolled. His engagement with our popular culture is one of exasperated affection but he views our fads, our pastimes, our patterns of speech from the perspective of antiquity; he’s an American poet with what might be called a Roman cast of mind – reflected not only in his profoundly Virgilian sense of ‘a mortal rapture in all things’ but in seven poems of mouth-watering Italian recipes. The collection begins just outside the gates of Eden, guarded by ‘gladiate fire,’ and extends into an uneasy future. There is the best poem yet written on 9/11, ‘Advisory,’ a set of variations on September with its heartbreaking ‘baby blue’ sky. There are gnomic utterances, sudden aphorisms, ecstatic phrases that, as he suggests, ‘exfoliate the callus that facilitates evasion.’ Bradley is a learned poet; he deploys echoes of Milton and Auden and Christopher Smart, as well as the Bible, but does so with such wry panache that the allusions are continually refreshed. Each of this poet’s previous collections has been an event. A Few of Her Secrets may be his finest achievement yet. It is a rare pleasure in these unpropitious times to witness a poet exulting in all the registers of the language and having such enormous delight in his art.” – Eric Ormsby


POETRY PENULTIMATA Robert Conquest June 2009 | Paperback | 120 pp | 9781904130369 | £8.99

“Robert Conquest’s sparkling light verse has always tended to distract attention from the seriousness that was in his poetry from the beginning, but in this collection the depth is unmistakeable. In a poem about St. Petersburg, the city comes back from the historical disaster which he did so much to analyse and combat. In poems about love, the subversive, lyrical proof that desire goes on into old age is alive in every cadence and perception. As ever, he makes many a younger writer look short of energy.” – Clive James “‘What’s left of love and beauty just survives,’ according to one of these poems. Really the whole of Penultimata is about what’s left of love and beauty, after a long life and 3,000 or more years of western civilization: to be recovered in memory, in a Roman figurine, in sharp sensuous delight, or in speculation on the nature of the universe. To poetry folk, Robert Conquest is a legend for having helped promote the talents of, among others, Philip Larkin and Thom Gunn, and in the wider world he is revered for having published the murderous realities of Stalinism. Here a hunger for truth-telling and the virtues of his own poetry are all in evidence. Those virtues – precision, wit, craftsmanship – only seem old-fashioned to those who believe poetry can do without them. For others, this book will be a continual reminder of times when poetry was turned to in the sure and certain hope of pleasure and instruction.” – Alan Jenkins “In his tenth decade, Robert Conquest retains all his characteristic virtues. The poems in Penultimata are smart, funny, tough-minded, generous, and utterly individual.” – Zachary Leader


POETRY FIELD KNOWLEDGE Morri Creech October 2006 | Paperback | 80 pp | 9781904130232 | £6.99 Winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2005, Nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Foreword by J. D. McClatchy “Morri Creech’s Field Knowledge has given me more pleasure than any book I have read in years. The judges of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize clearly knew their business!” – Frank Kermode “There are austere poets whose very distance from the world and whose reticent style create a tension that brings the experience described and the poem enacted into a sharper, more heartbreaking focus. And there are luxuriant poets – poets like Keats and Whitman and Hopkins – for whom the world’s bounty and the heart’s bottomless mysteries spill over into lines that almost burst with excess. Morri Creech is a luxuriant, but a canny one ... [H]e has made a book in which a reader can both lose and find himself. Field Knowledge is a rare achievement, and a lasting one.” – J. D. McClatchy, judge of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2005 (from the foreword). “Winner of the first annual Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, judged by Hecht’s literary executor, J. D. McClatchy, Morri Creech’s Field Knowledge has set the bar high for future aspirants ...” – Callie Siskel “Field Knowledge is intelligent, remarkably dexterous and inventive in its use of form, and – line by line – often dazzling, like “the sprinkler’s lisp and hiss / trailing a veil of diamond through the air.” The book is also playful, sometimes very funny – exploring, for example, angels whose heaven involves a trashy casino. Such gifts make Field Knowledge one of the strongest collections this reviewer has read in years.” – Benjamin S. Grossman


POETRY ONE ANOTHER Peter Dale April 2002 | Cloth | 80 pp | 9781904130055 | £8.95

“As a sequence of love sonnets, Peter Dale’s One Another can take its place beside the 16th and 19th century masterpieces of the genre. Rich, brooding, and dense with intimate detail, the poems capture with grace and tact the poignancy of would-be timeless emotion caught ineluctably in time passing.” – Dick Davis “Peter Dale is the most underrated poet of his generation, and his sonnet sequence One Another, his ‘morphology of an emotion’, one of the most undervalued volumes of the 1970s.” – Michael Donaghy “The best of these poems are engaging, immediate and direct – to the point where the writer disappears and the reader is confronted intimately with the subject – as if thought and feeling, and observation, derive exclusively from within the reader’s mind, perception and reaction seamlessly one.” – David Storey “400 years ago John Donne told his lover, ‘We’ll build in sonnets narrow rooms.’ Exploring every conceivable arrangement of this inexhaustible form, Peter Dale has built himself and his readers a spacious mansion.” – Timothy Murphy


POETRY BIG-EYED AFRAID Erica Dawson November 2007 | Paperback | 104 pp | 9781904130260 | £6.99 Winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2006, Contemporary Poetry Review’s Best Debut Volume, 2007 Foreword by Mary Jo Salter

“Erica Dawson is the most exciting younger poet I’ve read in years. What drive and verve! Her dazzling wit informs poem after poem, making each seem like a stiff drink with a dash of bitters. Big-Eyed Afraid is a sensational debut. I can’t recall finding this much energy between two covers since Ariel.” – X. J. Kennedy “Polished but unvarnished, exquisitely alive, the poems in Big-Eyed Afraid are utterly electrifying. Erica Dawson’s is a name to remember, and these are poems you won’t forget.” – Claire Messud “Big-Eyed Afraid is a fast-paced, breathlessly witty and illuminating riff on the multiple effects of race, sex, biology and social pressure on who we are and how we see ourselves. Dawson’s dazzling rhymes, her perfect pitch for an array of idioms ranging from the smutty to the sacred, and her extraordinary combination of metrical control and jazz-like syntactical elaboration make her work feel at one and the same time chiseled and improvised, traditional and utterly distinct. Brilliantly alert to multiple influences yet irreducibly tied to this particular poet at this particular moment in our collective history, Big-Eyed Afraid is one of the most compelling and entertaining books of poetry I’ve read in I don’t know how long.” – Alan Shapiro


POETRY THE ART OF THE LATHE B.H. Fairchild October 2002 | Cloth | 80 pp | 978190413002X | £8.95 Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award, 1999, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, 19999, the California Book Award, 1999, the Natalie Ornish Poetry Award, 19999, the PEN Center USA Poetry Award, 1999, the Beatrice Hawley Award, 1997, the Capricorn Poetry Award, 1996, and a Finalist for the National Book Award, 1997 Introduction by Anthony Hecht “Fairchild’s ability not only to choose a story but to pace it and to reveal its meaning through the unfolding of the narrative is probably unmatched in contemporary American poetry. The incisive psychology, the vividly descriptive diction, the large repertoire of vocabulary, the weightiness of his settings and plots: all these contribute to the delightful sensation that one is reading, simultaneously, the best poetry and best prose. I cannot think of another living poet capable of delivering such pleasure ... Not since James Wright has there been a poet so skilled at representing the minds and imaginations of ordinary American working people.” – Kate Daniels, The Southern Review “With elegance and restrained subtlety, Mr. Fairchild interweaves topics that become something like musical themes, including the central theme of machine work ... Anyone who can lay claim to the authorship of this much excellent poetry wins my unqualified and grateful admiration.” – Anthony Hecht (from the Introduction) “B. H. Fairchild boldly plunders the territories of prose to expand the possibilities of contemporary verse ... These fluent poems are omnivorously intelligent. The reader never knows what will come next; but, as deeply psychological in their probings as a novel, they always cohere.” – Dana Gioia


POETRY THE NAMES OF THINGS Jeffrey Harrison June 2006 | Paperback | 120 pp | 97819041302208 | £9.95

“Harrison has always been gifted at communicating the significance of his experiences and observations, both ordinary and special. In this he recalls Robert Frost, and like Frost’s, his poems expand in meaning as they are read, reread, and closely considered. Like Frost, Harrison is a traveler, but whereas Frost in his poems roams close to home, Harrison jaunts far afield as well as around the neighborhood, speculatively as well as bodily (see ‘Brief History of an Atlas’ and the two poems adverting to Arabian explorer Alexander Kinglake). His language is chaste and precise, he is formally modest, and he is as natural a poet as any writing in America.” – Ray Olson, Booklist “It has taken a while for Jeffrey Harrison’s poetry to reach this country ... He is a civilised, understated poet who from volume to volume has refined the characteristic American parlando to his own private purposes ... [He] writes of the personal without being ostentatiously confessional, finding his subjects in items of daily life, memories of childhood and youth, or his wife and children ... Jeffrey Harrison is now a poet of substance, and, in a period when it can take an effort to recall the best that America can offer, his gentle firmness and independence of spirit are worth more than whole libraries of noisier writing.” – Michael Hulse, PN Review “In Harrison’s work, the commonplace, the incidental, the exotic, and the miraculous all present themselves as the occasion for ... unflinching meditation and the knotting of lyric intensity.” – Partisan Review


POETRY SOMEONE ELSE’S NAME Joseph Harrison April 2003 | Paperback | 110 pp | 9781904130062 | £8.95 Finalist for the Poet’s Prize, 2005 Foreword by Anthony Hecht “[No] reader of this book could doubt for an instant that the poet not only loves his art, but delights in it, treating it with all the playfulness Frost so strongly recommended. Most of Mr Harrison’s poems are highspirited romps, though perfectly contained within the metrical and stanzaic schemes he assigns himself and so clearly enjoys deploying. He is a poet who makes the most of his forms, which, together with an unusually versatile diction (as ‘who can sing both high and low’) keeps himself on his toes, and keeps his readers alert to every change in the linguistic topography he leads us through.” – Anthony Hecht (from the introduction) “The poems in this first book are so witty and formally adept, so technically accomplished, that they almost seem to come from another era.” – Ed Hirsch, Washington Post “In this brilliant first book the deepest of feeling and the most profound thought rise up in response to a glittering surface of wit, which is never an end in itself. Throughout these poems, deep poetic learning and passionate responses to immediate experience interanimate one another ...[Harrison’s] is an outstanding talent ...” – John Hollander “Someone Else’s Name is a first book full of stunning performances, each one infused with wit, feeling, and humanity, and each one delighting in the full use of the medium and its devices. It’s a happy thing to witness the emergence of such a talent.” – Richard Wilbur


POETRY IDENTITY THEFT Joseph Harrison April 2008 | Hardback | 104 pp | 97819041302291 | £10.99 April 2008 | Paperback | 104 pp | 97819041302277 | £7.99

“Joseph Harrison’s new volume is a wonderful leap in his poetic development. Harrison fuses formal control with a rich interiority and composes many poems that deserve to become canonical.” – Harold Bloom “How deeply satisfying it is to read a poet whose meditative, elegiac temperament is married happily to verbal wit, even laugh-out-loud humor. Joseph Harrison is that rare poet, one whose command of craft suits him equally to produce a two-line ‘Ode’ (‘O elevated visionary thoughts, / Where are you now?’) and a ten-page public poem (‘To George Washington in Baltimore’) on that American giant who understood the ‘human scale.’ A poet so giddy with wordplay that he dares to rhyme ‘my palm is piloted’ with ‘Pontius Pilated’ and ‘pirated,’ Harrison addresses nonetheless the most serious concerns. Wary of our technology-dominated present and future, in which ‘identity theft’ is no joke (and ‘what fave new world is beckoning?’), Harrison makes his fingerprint evident in all of these poems – an implicit affirmation of something unique in each of us.” – Mary Jo Salter “The title poem of Joseph Harrison’s second book is a witty and headlong discussion of how one’s self, if any, is constituted. We are a patchwork, it develops, and the same might be said of Harrison’s book, which makes continual and expert use of Spenser, Wordsworth, Horace, Villon, and other predecessors. If this makes Identity Theft seem a three-ring circus, the important point is that Harrison is a superlative ringmaster: his book throughout is governed by that playfulness and performance which, as Frost said, are required in poetry however impassioned or serious. I found myself particularly moved by ‘Who They Were,’ which recalls the poet’s mother and father in the stanza of Tennyson’s ‘In Memoriam’.” – Richard Wilbur


POETRY THE HECHT PRIZE ANTHOLOGY, 2005-2009 Edited by Joseph Harrison

November 2011 | Paperback | 300 pp | 9781904130468 | £9.99

“The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize was launched by Waywiser in 2005, and is awarded annually to the best first or second collection of original poems in English submitted. The winner receives a purse of £1,750 or $3,000, and his or her collection is published by the press on both sides of the Atlantic. The prize has gone from strength to strength during its first five years, helped in this by an exacting system of triage and a highly distinguished list of final judges -- thus far, J.D. McClatchy, Mary Jo Salter, Richard Wilbur, Alan Shapiro, Rosanna Warren and James Fenton. Thom Gunn once derided the poetry anthology as “at best a convenience for teachers but otherwise a pernicious modern nuisance which keeps readers away from books of poetry”. The Hecht Prize Anthology, 2005-2009, ably edited by Joseph Harrison, contains work by fifty of the poets who reached the contest’s semi-finals – including the five eventual winners, Morri Creech, Erica Dawson, Rose Kelleher, Carrie Jerrell and Matthew Ladd – and, in its richness and diversity, the volume will not only gives the lie to Gunn’s puzzling generalization, but demonstrates how vigorous and entertaining the world of modern poetry can be.


POETRY COLLECTED LATER POEMS Anthony Hecht July 2004 | Hardback | 256 pp | 9781904130123 | £13.95

“Full of delight ... Hard as it is to distinguish inborn genius from the long labor that substantiates it, I am as immensely impressed by the native gift that was there from the beginning as I am by the rich development in successive volumes.” – Howard Nemerov, Washington Times “Anthony Hecht’s majestic development into a great poet has progressed across half a century. [He has clearly become] a fourth in the sequence of John Crowe Ransom, W.H. Auden and James Merrill – great verse-artists who are also humanist sages and wise sensibilities. Few poets stand with Henry James and Marcel Proust: Ransom, Auden, Merrill, and Hecht are in that company.” – Harold Bloom “Hecht, for all his pessimism, is fascinated by the sheer sumptuous richness of things ... He loves language as much as he loves the visible world, and handles rhyme and meter with the same scrupulous, almost sensuous attention to detail as he paints still life ... [He has] the sharp eye for pretension of a latter-day Byron ... A wry and wholly contemporary American voice.” – Al Alvarez, New York Review of Books “His gifts are of a kind rare today – seriousness, intelligence, formal discipline – and he has expressed as skilfully as any writer of the last fifty years the anxiety of the civilized mind facing the large and small barbarisms of the age.” – Adam Kirsch, The New Republic “Hecht’s highly formal poems sound majestic, orderly, and intense. He is one of the contemporary masters ... of the high traditional English style ... whatever poetry is supposed to do, it seldom gets more precise and articulate.” – Peter Davison, Boston Globe


POETRY THE DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT Anthony Hecht October 2002 | Hardback | 80 pp | 9781904130093 | £8.95

“Hecht’s superb new collection is stuffed with rich and complex poems that beggar easy description and that demand our closest scrutiny. One reading won’t be enough to yield the fullness of meaning and the artfulness of language and form embodied in these poems.” – George Core, Sewannee Review “A fiercely melancholic sequence of lyrics, odes, monologues, and translations, many of them written with the Biblical tales in mind. The severe rhythms and wild rhymes (‘guano’ is made to chime with ‘soprano’) make wonderfully baroque patterns – Bach partitas set stylishly to words. But music is only part of the festivities offered in Hecht’s work. His poems are also painterly, full of still lives, landscapes, and jewel-box miniatures. Lot’s wife remembers the ‘exquisite satisfactions’ of her childhood in this way: ‘The iridescent labyrinth of the spider, / Its tethered tensor nest of polygons / puffed by the breeze to a little bellying sail – / Merely observing this gave infinite pleasure.’ Hecht often figures the poet as a witness, and the infinite pleasures of observation are always mixed with more difficult moral concerns like passivity, historical atrocity, and individual despair. In ‘A Witness,’ a ‘briny, tough, and thorned sea holly’ watches as ‘The ocean rams itself in pitched assault / And spastic rage to which there is no halt . . . / At scenes of sacrifice, unrelieved pain, / figured in froth, aquamarine and black.’ That pain should go unrelieved is Hecht’s way of acknowledging poetry’s limits and history’s wounds; the tough holly is his protest against both. Another tactic for combating forgetfulness is to resurrect a voice. Hecht’s most well known poem of this type is ‘The Maid of Dover’ (after Arnold), and in the new collection he approaches those heights with the savage ‘Judith’: ‘It was easy. Holofernes was pretty tight; / I had only to show some cleavage and he was done for.’ No contemporary poet is so lapidary as Hecht. That he can put such beauty at the service of a stringent ethic is his continual gift.” – Kirkus Reviews


POETRY AFTER THE REVIVAL Carrie Jerrell November 2009 | Paperback | 80 pp | 9781904130383 | £8.99 Winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2008 “Carrie Jerrell is a poised, mature and brilliant poet. Her distinctive genius, what makes her unlike anybody else I know, is her ability to bring together such a heterogeneous mix of worlds and influences – to be open to everything formal and informal, profane and sacred, foreign and home grown.” – from judge Alan Shapiro’s foreword “The poems in this book are full of idiosyncratic wit, keen social intelligence and a kind of sass that makes great use of both the honey and the sting. That’s pleasure enough to encounter, but add to this Jerrell’s enviable formal assuredness and you have a book that announces a bright new voice to contemporary American poetry.” – Erin Belieu “After the Revival is a book of rich, tightly-packed poems suffused with the grit, rueful humor and pain of American country music.” – Dorianne Laux “Carrie Jerrell’s poems are as lyrically alive, intelligent, and unforgettable as Hank Williams’s best songs. A lover of paradox like John Donne, and as formally sophisticated, she moves between the divine and the profane in the blink of an eye. You can’t match this book for mature feeling and its rare, hopeful, sorrowing intelligence.” – Tom Sleigh


POETRY BUNDLE O’ TINDER Rose Kelleher November 2008 | Paperback | 88 pp | 9781904130338 | £7.99 Winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2007 Foreword by Richard Wilbur

“Rose Kelleher’s poems are everywhere the work of a sharp intelligence, a good heart, and a great technical gift ... Bundle o’ Tinder is a thoughtful book ... of wide reference and observation. It is very unlike the claustrally personal work of which one sees too much at present; at the same time, it is strongly personal, in the sense that its tone and vision are distinctive and recognizable. This is that rare thing, a first book in which the poet’s voice has been fully found.” – Richard Wilbur (from the judge’s foreword) “Rose Kelleher has an assured voice and mastery of technique, but hers is not cozy, complacent poetry. It is non-conformist. Living, and organic, it grapples with reality in unpredictable and often uncomfortable ways.” – Paul Stevens, Editor, The Shit Creek Review “This collection presents a naturally gifted writer who has taken care and pleasure in becoming consummate in craft. Everywhere there is the striking content, the surprising development and the deft phrase-making that distinguishes a poet not just of power and skill, but of grace.” – Mike Stocks, Editor, Anon


POETRY THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE Mark Kraushaar November 2011 | Paperback | 80 pp | 9781904130505 | £8.99 Winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize 2010 Foreword by James Fenton

“These poems have all the excitement and complexity of life as we live it now, together with a depth of speculation that is positively stunning in the light it casts on the intimate nooks and crannies of social experience that all of us encounter but either fail to notice or find words for. The sensation of time is Kraushaar’s ultimate subject, but he approaches time so imaginatively, so freshly, through such a detailed range of voices and occasions, in poems that unfold in such surprising yet inevitable ways that one feels as if every other possible subject for a poem – love, death, the struggles of dailiness, the fear of loss, friendship and work, childhood, contingency, and lack of faith – has been woven into the netting of this one obsession. This is a book to be enjoyed and savored, to be read with pleasure and gratitude, to be learned by heart.” – Alan Shapiro “Once a student told me her father said that when older people cry, they’re weeping because the world is beautiful – they already know it’s sad. Mark Kraushaar’s poems, too, look beyond the sorrow and find instead a world that’s almost unbearably lovely. I fell hard for Falling Brick Kills Local Man, Kraushaar’s first book; I have an even bigger crush on this one.” – David Kirby


POETRY THE BOOK OF EMBLEMS Matthew Ladd November 2010 | Paperback | 80 pp | 9781904130437 | £8.99 Winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize 2009 Foreword by Rosanna Warren

“The quality of Ladd’s seeing, as much as his voicing, guarantees his staying power. He glances into the nature of things. There are his potato beetles ‘… with liver-spotted shells / picking along the doorscreen on soft hooked feet’ (‘The Animal Kingdom’). There is ‘the salted grain of the boardwalk’ (‘Scenes From a Common Life’). There are storms ‘with their million-fingered waves’ (‘Appalachian Diurnal’), and, in ‘Klintholm Havn,’ the lovely waves that ‘bare their backs / and melt into foam.’ All of these observations, sensuous and just in themselves, are strategically placed, and pulsate with symbolic suggestion. With The Book of Emblems, a new poet steps out into the public square, by turns dashing, modest, canny, stylish, whimsical, and stern. And though one of his avatars may lie in bed practicing self-love, this maestro, through his many guises, reveals himself as admirably free from self-infatuation. That romance having been set aside, there is no telling where Ladd’s many gifts will lead him. The horizon is wide.” – Rosanna Warren



SHORE ORDERED OCEAN Dora Malech December 2009 | Paperback | 80 pp | 9781904130390 | £8.99 Finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2007, 2008 “If you’d wondered where the dappled things had gone, how the tisket and tasket ended up, what the fickle, freckled, couple-colored pieces of life were up to, look no further. Dora Malech has woven them into her exuberant debut. And she’s stuck in too the x-rays of Zeus and the horns of Moses. Shore Ordered Ocean is by turns witty and wonderstruck, fragile and fierce. Best of all, it announces an extraordinary talent to be watched and cherished.” – J. D. McClatchy “These are wonderful poems. Dora Malech knows just about everything there is to know about the risky music that lives in language. But she also knows about Truth and Beauty. She’s far too wise to try and make these last two rhyme, but she constantly tempts them into conversation.” – Bill Manhire Inquiring, irreverent, reverent, enraptured, Dora Malech is that rare thing, the magician technician, and she has written a book in which a sudden segue in poetry takes place – from Hopkins to the present. The result is as breathtaking as a dove release. She knows every word in the world is a book, that every center sought and found is continually thrown off, that the muscular is fragile and vice-versa, yet none of her old soul knowledge is ponderous, predictable, or dull, for she remains in love with that essential playfulness which is the innocence of art. Here is Malech on the birth of a child: “ ... unfold all / those origami limbs to test / the inevitable debutante bawl”. This book is an astonishing debut, one that makes me feel our original, lost language has found its way home.” – Mary Ruefle


POETRY POTSCRUBBER LULLABIES Eric McHenry June 2006 | Paperback | 80 pp | 9781904130222 | £7.95 Winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, 2007 “Every one of these poems is a little miracle of self-exactitude, rhyming and word play and metrical joy; they’re games the words in the poem play elatedly with each other, and everybody wins. The poems are victories of observation and self-observation, outsight and insight. I think there’s genius in this writing.” – David Ferry “Eric McHenry’s Potscrubber Lullabies is a fabulous book, one of the best books I’ve read in years. Witty, poignant, offbeat, elegiac and satirical (sometimes all at once), with metrical subtlety and sly rhymes McHenry explores the idiom of place and the place of idiom. He reveals how even the most personal and intimate utterances lean ‘hard with the weight of someone else’s meaning.’ This debut collection marks the beginning of a new and significant voice in American poetry.” – Alan Shapiro “Potscrubber Lullabies is a funky, tough-minded, grown-up first book of poems, dangerously deadpan and winsome, as alert to large social realities like Midwestern floods and politics as to tiny motions of the soul. McHenry’s wordplay, a marriage of zany wit and truthfulness, never misses the beat or the point. Whether he is slinging his troubleball as John the Revelator, or declaring ominously, ‘When you say nothing I know what you mean,’ he has our number, and we have reason to be grateful.” – Rosanna Warren is a funky, tough-minded, grown-up first book of poems, dangerously deadpan and winsome, as alert to large social realities like Midwestern floods and politics as to tiny motions of the soul. McHenry’s wordplay, a marriage of zany wit and truthfulness, never misses the beat or the point. Whether he is slinging his troubleball as John the Revelator, or declaring ominously, ‘When you say nothing I know what you mean,’ he has our number, and we have reason to be grateful.” – Rosanna Warren


POETRY VERY FAR NORTH Timothy Murphy January 2002 | Hardback | 112 pp | 9781904130017 | £9.00 Introduction by Anthony Hecht “You sometimes hear it said that a devotion to traditional technical skills blocks the development of a poet’s individual voice. How emphatically Timothy Murphy’s utterly distinctive poems give the lie to such cant! His poems are wholly his own, and yet the voice in them lives in and through his mastery of traditional metre, which is so thorough as to seem indivisible from the poems’ sensibility and meaning. And what a paradoxical voice it is – at once sinuous and bleak, dense and spare, flippant and wise; a northern art, hard and intricate as the finest scrimshaw.” – Dick Davis “Where are the heirs of Richard Wilbur? If you don’t care, skip the next two paragraphs; if, like me, you admire Wilbur’s meticulous poems but haven’t cared for most of his imitators, you’ll want to meet the North Dakota farmer Timothy Murphy, whose chiseled epigrams make him the most formal, and perhaps the most interesting, new ‘formalist’ in some time. The best poems in his second book of verse, Very Far North, all draw on his plains locale. ‘The Last Sodbusters’ remembers the first farmers to settle Montana ... ‘Nature’ in North Dakota offers Murphy very few comforts and no illusions; the comforts appear at home, through labor of skill, signs of erotic and parental love ... Such compact forms enunciate, as they reflect, an ethics: farming, like poetry, is no respecter of persons, and requires both smart planning and long labor for a product (grain, hogs, couplets, wisdom) whose end-users may never know how much work it took. A skilled Dakota farmer (like a Murphy poem) therefore wastes no syllable, no bit of dirt. Murphy can use other preindustrial crafts (hunting, sailing, animal husbandry) as subjects and analogues for similarly well-made poems ... [H]is good poems are poems Frost, or Jonson, might have admired.” – Stephen Burt, Boston Review


POETRY SHELL ISLAND Ian Parks June 2006 | Paperback | 64 pp | 9781904130192 | £7.95 “Parks writes out of that English tradition which values lucidity and form; his heroes, I would guess, probably include Thomas Hardy and perhaps Edward Thomas and Robert Frost. Not that his poetry is merely derivative or ... dated. Themes like love and loss, metaphors like the sea and snow; metrically sophisticated quatrains and poems which progress with subtlety across line and stanza endings; such things characterise a poetry which is, in the best sense, ‘traditional’. It is a poetry of literal and metaphorical hauntings, of fugitive experiences and landscapes. Parks is, particularly, a master of the brief narrative, short stories or novellas stripped of all but the essentials. The forty brief lines of ‘A Valley Affair’ say more than many a novel and even have time to reflect wryly on their own ‘telling’. There’s a care for precision, a refusal of easy rhetoric, that gives to much of Parks’s work a tellingly powerful reticence which it is easy to admire. – Glyn Pursglove, Acumen “[Parks’s] first book ... was published some eight years ago; in addition to the lyric gifts abundant in that book, [he] has become, ... like Auden, an accomplished story-teller in verse. These [poems] often have a sprightly, archetypal feel to them: the wild west girl who moves into the isolated community; the roué guest who more than outstays his welcome; the comrade who lives through all the vicissitudes of the civil war. [Parks’s] deft craftsmanship is contained in a cadenced iambic pulse and a warm, precise style.” – Ian Pople, The North “Ian Parks is a master of the elegiac cadence. These are poems caught between tides – ghosted with slippages, departures, possibilities. And at their shifting centre, loss and love.” – Pauline Stainer “Parks has an acute and intense sense of place which he manipulates for additional dimensions in his descriptions of love, loss, history and desire ... He manages to tackle the tricky area of ‘public’ poetry with an unaffected sense of ownership, enabling him to examine difficult issues in a fresh way.” – Anna Robinson, Poetry London


POETRY CATTLE CONSOLE HIM Chris Preddle July 2010 | Paperback | 96 pp | 9781904130413 | £8.99 “The first thing you realise on reading Chris Preddle’s poetry is its author’s intelligence; the second is his technical skill – line-propelling rhymes and inventive forms gracefully achieved – then how enjoyably deployed these talents are for our benefit. A classical Muldoon or postmodernist Longley, only the names of the best contemporary poets come to mind when I try to describe him; study this wonderful collection yourself and see what I mean.” – Ian Duhig “Accessible, erudite and technically assured, Chris Preddle emerges in this, his second collection, as a metaphysical poet advancing a long tradition. These are poems of admirable formal invention and lightness of touch, abounding in half-rhyme, homophone and musical variation. Whether meditating on a muddy Yorkshire field or a Greek sea, their themes resonate across a wide range of cultural reference, from Sappho and Boethius, classical and Christian, to the early 21st century. Rooted in the material world, particularly in the landscape around the Yorkshire village of Holme, where Preddle lives with his wife Jacqui, they momentarily illuminate the autobiographical, provisional and domestic, identifying within the particular situation an eternal predicament, and ultimately affirming the redemptive power of art and, above all, of love.” – Katrina Porteous “Chris Preddle is a fresh inventor. He brings language together in new ways and in new forms. His sequences are full of surprises: a wonderful new presence.” – Michael Schmidt


POETRY JOINING MUSIC WITH REASON: 34 POETS, BRITISH AND AMERICAN, OXFORD 2004–2009 Editor, Christopher Ricks July 2010 | Paperback | 440 pp | 9781904130406 | £12.99 Introduction by Christopher Ricks Featured Poets: Susan Barbour, Caroline Bird, Carmen Bugan, Kate Clanchy, Constantine Contogenis, Greg Delanty, Jane Draycott, David Ferry, John Fuller, Mark Halliday, Saskia Hamilton, George Kalogeris, Marcia Karp, Jenny Lewis, Peter McDonald, Jill McDonough, Patrick McGuinness, Andrew McNeillie, Lucy Newlyn, Bernard O’Donoghue, Vidyan Ravinthiran, Ted Richer, Don Share, Jon Stallworthy, John Talbot, Harry Thomas, Rosanna Warren, Rachel Wetzsteon, Kieron Winn “Joining Music with Reason ... holds ... some wonderful work by relative unknowns ... [L]ike many of Waywiser’s other productions ... it is overtly traditional: plenty of poems use rhyme and metre, and many make even more explicit links to older traditions, since they are translations, or adpatations, of poems a century or a millennium old.” – Stephen Burt


POETRY ADVENT Dan Rifenburgh January 2002 | Paperback | 96 pp | 9781904130031 | £9.00 Winner of Natalie Ornish Award for First Book of Poetry, 2002 Introduction by Richard Wilbur “Poetry has always been said to speak a charged, heightened language ... Daniel Rifenburgh’s words seem to me to bear a considerable charge ... The language of Advent often has the force of spare accuracy: it can also stun the reader with a brilliant, slow-fuse image. What governs the movement of the poems is a genius for the speaking voice ... Such poetry is rich because of its many articulate selves, and the way its variety of voices makes for a striking texture of dictions ...” – Richard Wilbur (from the Introduction) “Of very few books, let alone first books, does one wish to proclaim, ‘This is it!’ Advent is that rare exception, a collection certain to please all who care for the art. Daniel Rifenburgh has all one could possibly hope for in a new poet: ambition, wisdom and breathtaking skill.” – Lucien Stryk “The poems are terrific: so fluent, so smart, and brimming with charm. Rifenburgh is my candidate for discovery of the year. He cannot be compared to X or Y. He is Z all by himself.” – Donald Justice “These poems are startling in their vividness, skill, their originality and solidity. I find that lines and images resonate long after they have served the purposes of their local contexts. Mr Rifenburgh’s work deserves wider notice, particularly when so much of scant merit is greeted with acclaim.” – Anthony Hecht



NOT FOR SPECIALISTS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS W. D. Snodgrass April 2009 | Paperback | 280 pp | 9781904130352 | £10.99

“Snodgrass published an earlier selected poems nearly 20 years ago, but this fuller edition ... clarifies as never before the range of his accomplishment ... Snodgrass’s devotees must come away from Not for Specialists with deep gratitude ...” – Brad Leithauser “This is a judicious selection from a significant oeuvre.” – Publishers Weekly “W. D. Snodgrass stays loyal to his unpoetic surname, and the essential claim his poetry makes is that it is necessary to write beautifully.” – Clive James “This master inspires reverence.” – Wayne Koestenbaum “It is not difficult to believe W. D. Snodgrass’s boast that he is descended, on one side of his family, from Robert Herrick and, on the other side, from Robert Burns. His lyricism is not only the most consistent among the confessional poets, it is the most insistent ...” – J. D. McClatchy


POETRY BLIZZARD OF ONE Mark Strand April 2005 | Paperback | 96 pp | 9781904130031 | £8.95 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize “Former Poet Laureate, and a writer in a number of genres, this University of Chicago professor and muchhonored poet has developed over the years an aesthetic much his own: the discursive, easy surfaces of his quiet, gently surreal poems accumulate into a complex metaphysic, a notion of time and space that permeates his every utterance, whether abstract or concrete. And his poems teem with simple actions and things: a dog barks, a snowflake melts, a ship sails. Strand can’t escape the momentary nature of experience: In the revelatory ‘Suite of Appearances’, he captures the fluidity of the self and reminds us that the history of ourselves leaves us cold, the past means nothing to our ever-present nowness. Risking tautology, Strand suggests that the self is both a disguise and not one, that all things are wronged / By representation, an idea that helps explain his precise diction, however wronged the object he hopes to describe. Poem after poem exults in the pleasures of daily life and the clarity of immediate experience, which makes his elegy to Joseph Brodsky an awkward remembrance, a measure of meanwhile.” – Kirkus Reviews “Strand almost gives himself over to the sway of emotion, but remains reserved instead, polite, stoic, and elusive. This tension between abandon and control is expressed in the stylistic duality of his poems, which seem offhanded and proselike but which turn out to be breathtakingly lyric. He tells us that nothing we’re apt to strive for really matters, that everything just comes and goes, like wind, like breath, like love. What makes our spinning existences beautiful and precious are moments of repose, reflection, and wonder, like the scene in ‘A Piece of the Storm,’ the source of the collection’s title, in which a single snowflake makes its way into one room and the awareness of one person. Another title could serve as Strand’s credo, ‘Our Masterpiece Is the Private Life,’ a concept he further explores in ‘A Suite of Appearances’ by observing that ‘we clear a space for ourselves.’ This space, this refuge, is where poignancy and poetry live, and where Strand waxes and wanes like his totemic celestial body, the moon.” – Donna Seaman, Booklist


POETRY PERFECT HURT Bradford Gray Telford March 2009 | Paperback | 88 pp | 9781904130345 | £7.99 Finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2005, 2006, 2007

“‘There is no self without artifice,’ Bradford Gray Telford writes in Perfect Hurt, an elegant debut that somehow manages to be both restrained and luscious at once. How can such carefully patterned, structured poems engender this roiling intensity, convey such a sense of careening interiority? ‘A man I loved wanted to die,’ he writes, ‘and come back as a wave whereas I, I / favored a go as that whispering scene / from the Zapruder film, you know, that moment ...’ Here is a new voice that arrives as something already achieved: a presence, a consciousness: a made, unmistakeable self.” – Mark Doty “A speaking dirt-mound; a helpful Clytaemnestra advising Cassandra to ‘Leap before you look’; a self-portrait via descriptions of four trees; a Polish artist’s literal and mental wanderings: Bradford Gray Telford’s Perfect Hurt is a perfectly dizzying collection of tragi-comic reflections on people and places, family and friends, life and art, suffering and love – one that dazzles too with its formal mastery, its gorgeous descriptive textures, and its effortless blend of wit and pathos.” – Rachel Wetzsteon “One could easily lose oneself in the pleasures of this book – an intellect exulting in its scope, a melodious voice testing the limits of its range – but to yield to this temptation would be to miss the depths that reward more sustained attention. A charismatic and impressive debut.” – Monica Youn


POETRY SHUFFLE AND BREAKDOWN Cody Walker November 2008 | Paperback | 96 pp | 9781904130314 | £7.99 Finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2005, 2006 “You’ll need your wits about you when you read this astonishing book. Cody Walker keeps working surprises, setting traps, yanking rugs from underfoot – and I must say, I enjoyed myself no end. ‘Escalation, 2007,’ for instance, sounds as if written by a Mother Goose high on LSD. Walker is unique, no mere trickster but a serious craftsman who blurs the line of demarcation between sober poetry and light verse. Though he sometimes writes in forms usually frivolous – limericks, double dactyls, clerihews – he can do so with dark import. An amazing series of letters from a fictitious grandson of Walt Whitman is alone worth the price of admission.” – X. J. Kennedy “In this case, the voice comes from some ways off, at an unexpected angle. Cody Walker’s poems are singular, and severally strong. Shuffle and Breakdown is more than an assemblage; it’s a collection with a subtending architecture, so that while one is savoring local pleasures – a brash simile, an odd and antic rhyme – one is aware of the book’s shapely whole. Like Roethke, who also had a Pacific Northwest background, Walker makes adroit use of fractured nursery rhyme. Like Whitman, with whom he shares a taste for the out-flung, Walker means to be comprehensive. But Shuffle and Breakdown is more than a toting up of its influences. Here’s a wry and rueful and utterly appealing new sensibility.” – Brad Leithauser


POETRY THE SIZE OF HAPPINESS Deborah Warren April 2003 | Paperback | 112 pp | 9781904130048 | £8.95

“If there are still people out there clinging to that old canard about the tendency of formal verse to inhibit the poet, they need this book. It’s full of poems – fresh, quirky, intelligent, moving, individual and spoken in the living voice of the present – that attest to the inexhaustible capacity of rhyme and meter to serve the needs of every age. There are poems here that draw their material from daily life, the Bible, history and legend, the observation of nature, this morning’s paper, memory, the world of art and music, and the bottomless well of parental concern. Deborah Warren’s themes are those that never age or lose their bite: the joys and perils of each day, the risks imposed by love, the preparation for aging and death. The language is beautiful and precise and – equally important – determined to communicate with the rest of us. Come to think of it, the rest of us – those who have never doubted that formal excellence is an asset – also need it, for the sheer delight of reading it. In fact, let me say this outright: everybody who can read needs this book.” – Rhina P. Espaillat “What I like about Deborah Warren’s superb new collection is that I can read it from start to finish with enjoyment. The poems combine imagination with intelligence, music with emotional energy. The language sparkles in poem after poem. The book is full of lines and stanzas that the reader simply must linger over to savor. I know of no other, truer, test of poetry than that it demands a place in one’s memory.” – Dana Gioia “Deborah Warren is among the very finest American poets who still observe the strictures of meter and rhyme. She informs her work with lively feeling, wit, wisdom, and memorable music; she keeps us sitting up and interested. This collection, long overdue, is sure to find readers who will cherish it.” – X.J. Kennedy


POETRY JIGSAW Clive Watkins April 2003 | Paperback | 96 pp | 9781904130109 | £8.95 “What I value in poetry, and find in Clive Watkins’s poems, is a faithful, accurate, attentive eye that is always focused on the subject at hand, a mind that is never self-regarding, does not strike postures, has no designs on the reader. (This alone would distinguish him from most of his contemporaries.) I am struck again and again by how many of the ordinary ‘things of this world’ get into his poems, and how extraordinary they are as seen through the glass of his language. He writes wonderful sentences, often complex and sinuous, yet utterly clear. And perhaps most of all I relish the richness and subtleties of the sound, the sound that says everything. He handles the verse line with consummate grace and ease, the sense inseparable from the sound, seemingly made of it. More than once, as I read this book, Frost’s praise of Robinson has come to mind, ‘phrase on phrase on phrase…and every one the closest delineation of something that is something’, and too, ‘that grazing closeness to the spiritual realities’, and I have thought, that’s equally true of Clive Watkins. Like very few contemporary poets, he can make a chill run up my spine, a little shock of recognition, a sense that the great mystery has, for a moment, been made articulate. I don’t use the word ‘great’ loosely – great poems are few and far between. But among the many good poems in Jigsaw, there are several great poems – I am thinking of ‘The Wagon’ and ‘Events As Things, Things As Events’ and ‘Abseil’ and ‘Green Chapel’ and ‘At Westerby’s’ and ‘Cherryburn’ and ‘Hilda and Eddie’s Place’ – and there may be others. If England has produced a better poet since Larkin, I can’t think who it would be.” – Robert Mezey “Jigsaw marks a mature, accomplished, clear-eyed debut. It is a collection haunted with landscapes – real landscapes of garden and wilderness, and the unreal topographies of memory and dream – ‘severe and formal’ or edged with thickets and briars. (Even the letters of the alphabet hook together in one poem to become ‘thorns of black sound’.) This book has been a long time in the making, and Watkins’s reticence has paid off. Poem after intelligent poem is the fruit of ‘waiting patiently for the right season, for the right word’.” – A.E. Stallings


POETRY MAYFLIES Richard Wilbur July 2002 | Paperback | 96 pp | 9781904130116 | £8.95 “... Mayflies would be worth reading simply for Wilbur’s fluent translation of Canto XXV of Dante’s Inferno, [but] the book contains, too, a few poems that rank among his best – the austere intensity of ‘Crow’s Nests’, the rhyming tercets of ‘Zea’, the beautiful consolation of ‘For C.’ This last poem, a praise and joyful witness of longstanding love, ends with words that could stand as a fit description of Wilbur’s ouevre: ‘A Passion joined to courtesy and art / Which has the quality of something made, / Like a good fiddle, like the rose’s scent, / Like a rose window or the firmament.” – Ian Tromp, Times Literary Supplement “Wilbur has been writing ... superb, brilliant, kindly, highly intelligent, deeply literary verse for nearly 60 years ... [H]is new collection, Mayflies, is again wonderfully interesting and well-written. The poems are quieter and less showy than in his prime, but the best of them (e.g. ‘For C’, ‘This Pleasing Anxious Being’) still advance urbanely on the reader and then leave one shocked by the sudden emotional power which can be carried by such a civilised vehicle.” – D.M. Black, Poetry London “Readers familiar with the long sweep of Wilbur’s career will hear in Mayflies many echoes, thematic and formal, of what has gone before. But they will also find that the new variations extend and enrich the old Wilbur music ... It’s been a long while since I came across a new book of contemporary American poetry which, in its consistency, clarity, and fullness of tone, felt so heartening.” – Brad Leithauser, New York Review of Books “The graceful combination of virtuoso formal verse and fully matured wisdom produces a tightly woven group of poems and translations that reinforce Wilbur’s standing as one of the great poetic craftsmen of the 20th century.” – Kirkus Reviews


POETRY COLLECTED POEMS, 1943-2004 Richard Wilbur October 2005 | Paperback | 640pp | 9781904130178 | £14.99 “The poetry of Richard Wilbur has been famous for over half a century, both for epitomizing a kind of craftsmanship which might be called European – like the work of a similarly notable contemporary, the late Anthony Hecht – and for a view of life and the world which is neither as thoroughly pessimistic nor as insistent as the one the times have seemed to commend to many American poets ... [M]ore than any other contemporary poet, [Wilbur] is able to demonstrate the power of happiness to write something other than white, able to affirm ‘Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows’ and, at the same time, and for the same ultimate purpose, to demonstrate that a rich and elaborate technique amounts to more than a set of decorous historical impedimenta ... It would be a poor canon which did not include a generous sample from Wilbur’s body of work ...” – Sean O’Brien, Times Literary Supplement “In a career spanning more than sixty years, Richard Wilbur has devoted himself to organising the daylight and exploring the darkness. A musical, formal and cultured poet, his latest Collected is a continuing triumph. At 85 he has outlived most of his peers. Yet he is still producing those elegantly constructed, metrical investigations into our lives ... Wilbur is a poet of rare talent. He is an important American poet, and The Waywiser Press has done a great good in producing what must substantially be a life’s work. At £14.99 it would be a hard reader who did not feel more than amply rewarded.” – Tony Roberts, PN Review “For 60 years Richard Wilbur has remained in the front rank of contemporary poets, always present, patiently defying trends, a lucid thinker whose poems stick in the mind and whose virtuosity never ceases to astonish and gratify his readers. While the earlier poems – those of the late 40s to the 60s – probably represent his best work, this capacious and inclusive volume is welcome, pulling into print his major collections, some of his remarkable translations and his delightful verses for children ... [Wilbur’s] career, in its sweep and steadiness, its dedication to classical principles, reminds us that fashions will come and go, in poetry as in all things, but that the artist must pursue clarity of vision, asking only for grace. [He] has never wavered as an artist, and there is grace enough for any reader in this varied, boundless volume.” – Jay Parini, The Guardian


POETRY ANTEROOMS: NEW POEMS AND TRANSLATIONS Richard Wilbur October 2011 | Paperback | 72 pp | 9781904130444 | £8.99 “A new collection by our greatest living poet is cause for wonder and gratitude. Wilbur searches both the natural world and the human heart for hard truths he renders with a matchless grace. Anterooms bursts with a ripened and rueful joy. This is a book not just for your shelves but for the ages.” – J. D. McClatchy “Richard Wilbur’s imagination has long regarded life in the bud – the seedling, the fledgling, the sprout, the egg ... His flowering never ceases to unfold.” – Mary Jo Salter “When the Roman poet Horace described what a master poet does, he was describing what the American master poet Richard Wilbur does in his wonderful new book. There’s perfection of music and utterance everywhere in these brave, witty, radiant new poems. There’s exaltation here. He makes it look like child’s play.” – David Ferry “For a long time now, Richard Wilbur has reigned as our finest lyric poet. The title still belongs to him, as Anterooms (what a joy!) proves several times over.” – X. J. Kennedy “In 1947, Richard Wilbur broke into the literary big leagues with his stunning first collection of poems, The Beautiful Changes; and as Anterooms demonstrates, he is still regularly hitting the ball out of the park sixty-three years later. I can’t think of any other American author who has written so wonderfully well, decade after decade.” – Timothy Steele


POETRY ONE UNBLINKING EYE Norman Williams April 2003 | Paperback | 64 pp | 9781904130000 | £8.95

“This fine new book of poems by Norman Williams glistens with so many virtues that I have settled on the four that most impress me. 1) fidelity of eye to an almost Flemish degree of accuracy; 2) a dramatist’s fine finger on the pulse of veiled, impending, or remembered crisis, 3) a moral intelligence that teeters alarmingly between the vulnerable and the culpable, and 4) a Frostian stoicism attuned to the rigors and tyrannies of New England’s more corrosive weathers. This is a vigorous addition to the body of important American poetry.” – Anthony Hecht “Norman Williams’s poems have a wonderful descriptive truth, as well as a fundamental decency, all the more moving for its acknowledgment of the injuries and impulses that can tempt us away from patience and restraint. In one poem, he speaks of ‘faith expressed / In poor things, carefully arranged,’ and thanks to his own care and skill with language, he makes even his humblest subjects shine. This is a remarkable collection.” – Timothy Steele Declines, losses, and defeats are much on Williams’ mind, and he adjusts to them pretty well, thanks in no small measure, it often seems, to his fluency with formal verse. The demands of form and the pleasure of making rhyme and meter elegantly float a natural-sounding, accessible diction constitute a kind of assuagement for the heart-sadness of Williams’ poems about tragedy in America’s heartland, aging fathers, departed lovers, and surviving children who died in infancy. There is balm, too, in the procession of the seasons, and Williams is capable of passages about those age-old changes that are as indelibly correct as anything in Frost or even Wordsworth: “Here spring begins its slow, corrosive work: / A single drip, another, then a third / Drill cigarette burns in the snow.” Religion, too, affords its solace, as in “The Doomsayers Awake following the Predicted Apocalypse,” about a morning whose glories “bespeak a love too eager to forgive.” In Williams’ work, precise imagery unites with humanity of feeling to become poetry of everlasting refreshment. – Ray Olson, Booklist


POETRY A MOST MARVELOUS PIECE OF LUCK Greg Williamson April 2008 | Hardback | 88 pp | 9781904130307 | £10.99 April 2008 | Paperback | 88 pp | 9781904130284 | £7.99

“The sonnet in English, which has changed only incrementally since Wyatt passed off Petrarch’s sonnets as his own, metamorphoses further with Greg Williamson’s brilliant inventions. I imagine a time when his particular form of the little song may even take on his name and be added to the distinguished list: the Petrarchan sonnet, the Shakespearean sonnet, the Miltonic sonnet, the Williamsonnet. I mean it. And this sequence deserves to take its place with the best.” – Mark Jarman “Who ever would have thought that so many sonnets could still be so much fun? From birth to death, from the self to the cosmos, Greg Williamson’s energetic sequence takes us on a roller-coaster ride through the external and internal universe. Along the way he updates and invigorates the form of the sonnet itself. Like the range of his subjects, his diction winds, bends, lurches, and leaps from the scientific (‘thermohaline,’ ‘foraminifers,’ ‘isobars’), to the accurate but fanciful (‘Snood, Shako, Tam-o-shanter, Shriner fez’), to the invented (‘enrichum lawyericulum,’ ‘golfonaut,’ ‘blingblingitis’). The poems amuse, impress, and finally dazzle us. Williamson may often seem drunk on language, but he is always sober in his thinking. He takes an ordinary phenomenon like water, or a hat, then finds an appropriate cliché (‘we’re all wet,’ ‘under your hat’) and plumbs both of them, expanding, opening them up, looking at them anew. Words are his materials, and he uses them like a master craftsman. Out of carbon he makes diamonds.” – Willard Spiegelman


FICTION THE ENTIRE ANIMAL Gregory Heath July 2006 | Paperback | 176 pp | 9781904130215 | £6.99

“Michael is a taxidermist in his late thirties. Socially awkward, especially around women, and preferring the company of his stuffed animals, he lives alone in a dormitory town outside Derby ... a man at last coming to terms with the loss of his mother at an impressionable age, and belatedly learning how to let other people into his life and form meaningful relationships with them ... [The Entire Animal] is a ... nicely formed [book], the story progressing in an orderly fashion through a series of discrete, pleasingly realised vignettes – Michael feeling out of place at the attractive younger art student’s house party; Michael sharing a joke with his sister-in-law for the very first time; Michael at his dying father’s bedside, the right words to say catching in his throat. And, in the background, the thread of a story about the farming town’s recent suburbanisation and concomitant dwindling of community, and lots of ... imagery to remind us that we are human animals, but stuffed with memories, emotion and desire.” – Laurence Phelan, The Independent “The Entire Animal tells Michael’s story without a word to spare. So vacuum-packed is his world that it occurred to me early that if I started to talk about it, its essence would leak out, in the manner of the aroma of ground coffee or those smoked almonds I used to hanker for on airplanes. Long before the end, though, I stopped thinking about myself. I had no trouble becoming involved in the history of Woodington, Derbyshire, the life cycle of the hornet as thoughtfully observed by a man who has put away far too many beers, and the redolence of his pain.” – Virginia Allen, The Bloomsbury Review


FICTION CHANCING IT Matthew Yorke November 2005 | Paperback | 192pp | 9781904130215 | £6.99 “This is an admirable piece of writing. Yorke writes beautifully, and his sense of place – of a Yorkshire town given over to light industry and games of chance – is completely convincing. The characters, especially the hero, Steve, are brilliantly drawn.” – George Melly “I enjoyed and admired this book enormously. Yorke’s theme is gambling, and his treatment of it is brilliant. So is the way he brings his characters and the town they inhabit to life by an inspired choice of detail, original but always convincing, intensely observed and beautifully expressed. As well, I like the tone of the book – near to comedy but never facetious, near to tragedy but never melodramatic.” – Francis Wyndham “Some twenty years ago Matthew Yorke’s book The March Fence won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for first novels. I reviewed it in The Scotsman and said it was ‘the real thing, the best first novel I have read in a long time’. I would then have predicted that Yorke would soon be an established, highly regarded author. But nothing appeared, bar a collection of his grandfather, Henry Green’s, previously uncollected writing, which Yorke edited. Even that was rather a long time ago: 1992. A while ago I read The March Fence again. It still seemed very good, and I was even more puzzled that there had been no successor. Now, at last, there is one ... Chancing It is again a very good novel ... Yorke writes with a lovely clarity ... He has imagined his characters thoroughly ... It’s about the way people – ordinary, mostly decent people – think, feel and behave. It’s not exciting, but it is revelatory and deeply satisfying. It’s not going to make headlines. It’s not going to be talked about in fashionable bookchat circles. It’s not going to lead to interviews with the author. It’s not going to excite any controversy. But this is true-to-life stuff, about the way people live now in a city a long way distant from the metropolis and without any urban buzz. Matthew Yorke tells it how it is, and that is always worth doing, and the result is worth reading ... [A] quiet triumph.” – Allan Massie, The Scotsman


NON-FICTION ARTICLES OF FAITH Neil Berry October 2008 | Paperback | 272 pp | 9781904130321 | £8.99 Expanded second edition

“Neil Berry has an interesting tale to tell ...” – John Gross, Times Literary Supplement “He is full of good stories.” – Nicholas Bagnall, New Statesman “There has never been a great magazine without a great editor, and Neil Berry’s study of ‘the higher journalism’ is also a series of vivid portraits of intellectual impresarios ... Articles of Faith is written for the inquisitive lay reader rather than the specialist, like the periodicals it commemorates ...’ – Francis Wheen, Times Higher Education Supplement “Intellectual journalism in Britain can be traced back to the beginning of the 19th century. Berry, a freelance journalist who contributes to contemporary journals, covers the prominent intellectual periodicals and their key editors of the movement. Beginning with Frances Jeffrey’s editorship of the Edinburgh Review, a quarterly, from 1802 to 1829, Berry details how British journals of opinion exercised worldwide influence on political and literary journalism. Under Jeffrey, the Edinburgh Review established the precedent for editorial independence, and it regularly criticized popular authors such as Wordsworth and Coleridge. As the tempo of communication changed, quarterlies were upstaged in the late 1800s by monthlies such as the Fortnightly Review and the Review of Reviews. Continuing the chronology into the 20th century, Berry relates the strange history of the anti-Communist cultural review, Encounter, founded in 1953 and funded by the CIA. The narrative closes with an overview of the London Review of Books, which began in 1979, and concludes with an open question about the future of intellectual journalism in a commercialized media culture. Readers who have a strong background in British cultural history and an interest in the history of publishing will appreciate this book. Academic libraries with strong collections in these areas should consider.” – Judy Solberg, The George Washington Univ. Libs., Washington, DC


NON-FICTION A DRIFTWOOD ALTAR: ESSAYS AND REVIEWS Mark Ford September 2005 | Paperback | 300pp | 9781904130161 | £10.95 Introduction by Nicholas Everett “I can think of few more trustworthy, and few more attentive, guides to modern and contemporary letters than Mark Ford, who responds to the challenge of involuted works with prose of absolute clarity, renders judgments at once authoritative and agreeable, and sees vivid connections where lesser readers see only impassable borders. From paragons of craft to parables of estrangement, from the manic energies of F. T. Marinetti to the painstaking humility of Elizabeth Bishop, from the wholly invented Ern Malley to the strangerthan-fiction archive of Raymond Roussel, Ford’s essays will tell you what you need to know, then send you off in search of the wonderful works – from France, Italy, America, Britain, Australia – which Ford’s writings bring to your attention, and which, without him, you might not quite understand. “ – Stephen Burt “It’s a wonderful joke that a group of writers so wayward, difficult, elusive and outright crazy should be the subject of essays so vivid, funny, crisp and sane. If more literary criticism were like this, more people would read it.” – John Lanchester “Mark Ford’s brilliant essays explicate a canon that may be unfamiliar to some readers: the work of the American Parisian experimentalist Harry Mathews, the Surrealists Raymond Roussel and André Breton, the Modernist poet Mina Loy, the Futurist Marinetti. He brings calmly analytical powers to bear on work that is often wild and strange; and his own charm matches the charm of many of the writers he discusses. What emerges is the most lucid and eloquent defence of Postmodern experiment I have ever read. Yet Ford’s historical and literary sense is so acute, his desire to reach back into the poetic tradition so strong, that a kind of alternative history of Modernism itself is also offered. It is a remarkable achievement.” – James Wood


NON-FICTION ILLUSTRATED GERMS: A MEMOIR OF CHILDHOOD Richard Wollheim October 2004 | Paperback | 264 pp | 9781904130130 | £13.99 October 2004 | Hardback | 264 pp | 9781904130147 | £10.95

“One of the best books I read this year was the posthumously published Germs: A Memoir of Childhood, from a tiny outfit called the Waywiser Press and mentioned by half a dozen critics in their end-of-year selections.” – D.J. Taylor, The Guardian “Wollheim regarded Germs as ‘the best piece of work’ he had ‘ever done’. The book ... portrays the Thames Valley life of his affluent parents – the distant, dandified father he revered; the beautiful, mindless ‘Gaiety Girl’ mother he came to regret loathing – in dazzling detail. However, the dark heart of the book is the merciless, microscopic examination of the development of Wollheim’s psyche, not least of his realization that the price of love is fear. So long as Richard was alive, I found the sheer density of this book painful. Since his death, I am able to read it with delight. It must not be allowed to become a chef d’oeuvre inconnu.”– John Richardson, The Independent “[A] frighteningly good memoir.” – Andrew O’Hagan, London Review of Books “Germs, Richard Wollheim’s posthumously published ‘memoir of childhood’ is a great book, strange and beautifully written, candid yet ornate, as if Rousseau were being rewritten by Proust, with interpolations by another author familiar with Beckett. Wollheim’s spoilt childhood – eccentric parents, important visitors (Diaghilev, Kurt Weill, Serge Lifar), grand houses and grand hotels – was lonely and sad and strange enough, but immensely more interesting than most. The child became an intelligent and sensitive observer, and what he recalls of those early days is here treated mostly with delicate irony. This is not a book to be admired for a season or a year, but to be counted among those masterpieces of which the fading memory continually demands return and refreshment.” – Frank Kermode, Times Literary Supplement (Book of the Year)


NON-FICTION ILLUSTRATED I WISH ... Nicholas Garland May 2007 | Hardback | 48pp | 9781904130246 | Numbers 1-150, signed

| £50.00 Limited edition

“Over the years, Nick Garland has recreated the animal farm of politics with his gift for seeing our rulers as something else – a rabbit, a bull, a pig – and nailing down their characters in a line or a gesture. It is a form of wit, a way of cutting the high and mighty down to size. I wish ... is a playful variation on a similar theme. Using an open-ended verse form he came across in Auden and Garrett’s anthology The Poet’s Tongue, and illustrating them with a series of brilliant woodcuts, Garland has written a highly original book of nursery rhymes. They are nursery rhymes for adults but told from a child’s point of view – the grasshopper’s view of the camel, the tadpole’s view of the hippo – the view from the bottom up, in short, just like the cartoonist’s take on the great.” – Al Alvarez


ILLUSTRATED I WISH ... Nicholas Garland May 2007 | Hardback | 48pp | 9781904130253 | Numbers 151-400, unsigned | £30.00 Limited Edition “To me Nick Garland is the cartoonists’ cartoonist. He has such a beautiful and interesting line, and the products of his imagination are always so unexpected. Next to that, he has a verbal dexterity that continues to colour your mind long after you’ve looked up from the page – that dark, refreshing pool of image and text. His book I wish ... has all of this and more. It is actually a masterclass in felicity: look here, those of you who can take delight in delight for its own sake; buy this book and pass it on, and buy another and keep it for yourself, those of you who always have time for a perfect distillation of elegance and wit. That is what you get when you buy Nicholas Garland’s book. Buy three. An extra one for me.” – Andrew O’Hagan


ILLUSTRATED MOMMY DADDY EVAN SAGE Poems by Eric McHenry, Illustrations by Nicholas Garland October 2011 | Hardback | 72pp | 9781904130451 | £9.99

Childhood can be a confusing time, but not to Evan and Sage. They’ve got the world pretty well figured out, and are happy to explain it to their perplexed parents: “A monkey and an ape are not the same,” / said Sage. “The monkey has a longer name.” In this book of funny, fanciful poems and woodcuts, Eric McHenry and Nicholas Garland pay tender tribute to parents and the children who run circles around them.

“A consequence,” Sage said, “is when you take my favorite toy away and I look at the floor and say ‘Sorry’ and get it back again.”



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JOHN ASHBERY IN CONVERSATION WITH MARK FORD April 2003 | Paperback | 168pp | 9781903291122 | £10.95

PETER DALE IN CONVERSATION WITH CYNTHIA HAVEN April 2005 | Paperback | 138pp | 9781903291139 | £10.95


“The whole series is a remarkably fine enterprise.” – Dana Gioia


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THOM GUNN IN CONVERSATION WITH JAMES CAMPBELL April 2000 | Paperback | 112pp | 9781903291009 | £9.50

DONALD HALL IN CONVERSATION WITH IAN HAMILTON February 2000 | Paperback | 112pp | 9781903291146 | £9.50

“Essential reading for admirers of these poetswork itself.” – Neil Corcoran



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MICHAEL HAMBURGER IN CONVERSATION WITH PETER DALE April 2003 | Paperback | 80pp | 9780953284115 | £9.50

IAN HAMILTON IN CONVERSATION WITH DAN JACOBSON April 2005 | Paperback | 196pp | 9781903291054 | £10.95


“Vigorous, illuminating and sometimes surprising adjuncts to the work itself.” – Neil Corcoran


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SEAMUS HEANEY IN CONVERSATION WITH KARL MILLER April 2000 | Paperback | 112pp | 9780953284177 | £9.50

ANTHONY HECHT IN CONVERSATION WITH PHILIP HOY February 2000 | Paperback | 168pp | 9781903291153 | £10.95

“These books enrich our contextual understanding of contemporary poetry.” – Times Literary Supplement



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DONALD JUSTICE IN CONVERSATION WITH PHILIP HOY April 2003 | Paperback | 130pp | 9780953284191 | £10.95

CHARLES SIMIC IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL HULSE April 2005 | Paperback | 120pp | 9781903291030 | £9.50


“Substantial and illuminating volumes.” – Stand


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W.D SNODGRASS IN CONVERSATION WITH PHILIP HOY April 2000 | Paperback | 80pp | 9780953284108 | £9.50

ANTHONY THWAITE IN CONVERSATION WITH PETER DALE AND IAN HAMILTON February 2000 | Paperback | 96pp | 9780953284123 | £9.50

“Highly recommendable for their insights into the individual poet’s work and also the nature of the craft – Stand



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RICHARD WILBUR IN CONVERSATION WITH PETER DALE June 2000 | Paperback | 96pp | 97809532841153 | £9.50


“These conversations are skilfully presented [and] offer sharp new perspectives on their subjects.” – PN Review


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THREE POETS IN CONVERSATION: DICK DAVIS, RACHEL HADAS, TIMOTHY STEELE December 2006 | Paperback | 150pp | 9781903291146 | £10.95


Introduction by Christopher Ricks




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Waywiser's Autumn Catalogue, 2011  

A complete catalogue of publications by The Waywiser Press through till the end of 2011, including books from its imprint, Between The LInes...