Publisher synopsis: LONGLISTED FOR THE PORTICO PRIZE. Potter down to "The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street" and find a strange landscape opening up before you: the city's dishevelled edge of huts and fallen fences slides towards a sullen and uncanny countryside. Elegant, intelligent, charming and accessible, these poems reinvent the pastoral for dark times. They peddle dreams and nightmares, hollow laughter, elegy and joy, and use a spectrum of forms and tones from the prosaic to the metrical, from wry cynicism to high rhetoric. Meet botanists, bastards, predators and prayers, the feckless and the dead, a lecherous Polish priest and Prospero as a game old bird, cigar in hand, mourning the proliferation of oiks like you. Pop in for a drink at the pub of the rural damned, dodge deranged farmers and deluded incomers, and make for the county town with its closed cinema and publicly-owned Scotch eggs. Find an eyeball in a wooden box. Discover the moral character of sand and gravel, play a quick hand of piquet and lie awake all night listening to the Dark shagging in the garden of a city terrace.
The poems in "The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street" are original and allusive, serious and funny. Their wit and charm plot new routes through familiar landscapes.