Thanks to David Belbin for his review of my pamphlet Another Last Word, on the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature website. I must get hold of those Thom Gunn letters – reading David’s review has taken me back to the poems.
Thanks also for Sam Smith for his review of Birmingham Canal Navigation in the latest issue of The Journal.
Here’s my new collection, Another Last Word, a chapbook published by The Red Ceilings Press. A limited edition of 40 numbered copies. Thanks to Mark Cobley.
‘I laughed out loud as well as now and then wincing. Individually they’re like when some cartoons become art, like ‘Lost Consonants’ in the Guardian, but they’re even more than that altogether, the way the poems work with each other. I could see you reading them in Dictionary Corner on Eight Out of Ten Cats Does Countdown, though you’d have to win X Factor first, to be invited on’ – Peter Sansom
Poems from the front line of a long-term relationship in and out of lockdown. A survival guide, perhaps. Featuring a walk in the rain, a bar of expensive chocolate, The Beatles Revolver, the Tai Chi sword form, a cucumber, a suitcase, revolving doors, War and Peace, poppadoms, wet lettuce and a box of new colouring pencils. Cliff Yates’s poems have sometimes featured dialogue; this collection consists almost entirely of dialogue. Fragmentary, Zen-like, cartoonesque, highly-wrought poems, where authorship is questioned and responsibility shared.
I’ve just come across another review of Birmingham Canal Navigation on Sphinx. It’s written by Matthew Paul, and you can find it here. Entitled ‘The Iruption of Memory, it begins: ‘As Roy Fisher had Birmingham River, so Cliff Yates has Birmingham Canal Navigation, a Sinclairesque, psychogeographical peregrination around the city of his birth and upbringing, and nearby Coventry…’
I just came across this review on Sphinx, of my new collection Birmingham Canal Navigation. Thanks to Ramona Herdman, and to Happenstance Press. The review begins: ‘These poems feel real to me. I believe in their Birmingham. I believe in Luke and the frisbee. I don’t care whether everything really happened exactly as set down…’