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Richard Price

Rays by Richard Price
RRP: GBP£ 9.95
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ISBN: 978 1 847770 10 3
Categories: 21st Century, British, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2009
216 x 135 x 13 mm
80 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
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  • If 'Two halves of nothing'
    cuts out on the radio,
    if the river's up
    past the stereo,
    if everything good
    you needed to know
    gets lost in the flood,
    you remember it
    after love.

                          from 'Two halves of nothing'

    Teasing, funny and celebratory - Rays is a wry and tender lover's gift. Continuing Richard Price's virtuosic playfulness of form, it improvises on the formal shape of sonnet and canzone, charging them with the energy of blues and rock, glimpsing narratives of desire. In a restless, sleepless landscape where language becomes shrill, an alphabet of love poems creates a dreamy island, between the solace of haiku and the precisions of Emily Dickinson. The Renaissance poet Louise Labé and an imaginary band, The Loss Adjusters, sing the complex beauties of passion.

    Cover painting: Passing Aquaintance by Dorothy Stirling (2009), reproduced by kind permission of the artist. Cover design by


    Wake Up and Sleep
    The thought keeps counting    
    Continuous Positive Air Pressure    
    Wake up and sleep    

    Lute Variations
    Your eyes translate me    
    From the moment    
    Lute, companion    

    Earliest Spring Yet
    About this    
    The idea    
    Manet with Mardy    
    Melancholy plumber    
    A shape, the past    
    As if a song    
    Resonant frequency    
    Channel Link    
    A century find    
    Earliest spring yet    
    Shades on    
    Age of Exploration    
    The long low structure    
    Dippers –    

    Languor’s Whispers        

    Songs for the Loss Adjusters
    Work’s over
    Trackside fires    
    Ambulance work    
    Two halves of nothing    
    Last train, full of couples    
    I’m writing to write again    
    [Hidden track]    

    little but often        

    Rhyme nor Reason        

    The Line
    Informer (1)    
    Informer (2)    
    Informer (3)    
    The line    
    Griefy train    
    The snow gets it    

    Darkness and Dazzle
    Question time    
    Darkness and dazzle    

    Non-reflective glass    
    Like a student gardener    

    Golden Key        

    Richard Price was born in 1966 and grew up in Scotland. He was educated at Napier College, Edinburgh and at Strathclyde University, Glasgow. In the 1990s he became a leading figure in the Informationist movement in Scottish poetry. Richard Price has published a dozen books of poetry since his debut in ... read more
    Praise for Richard Price 'Reading the poems you become aware you are in the presence of a mind working much more quickly and sharply than your own.'
    The Poetry School 
    'Richard Price retains an individual voice in which intense feelings of love, or dislocation, are packed into often short, complex lyrics. There is a tension in reading his poems which is created by his care for words, by the integrity of his distillation.'
    Carol Ann Duffy
    'Price's humane intelligence manifests itself in deceptively simple and subtly musical forms of address. Readers who allow themselves the pleasure will not be disappointed.'
    Robert Potts, The Guardian
    '...when you come to such energy combined with impressive inventiveness and lyricism, it is rather hard to pass on by [...] the humour, the wittiness [are] there throughout, as is a boldness of utterance [...] Here, however sorrowful the story, I hope other readers too will feel the energy of language in the making.'
    Caroline Clark, Eyewear
    'A superb first line, 'No colours can mean more than Lego's' ('Delicate greenery'), leads on to an amazing arc of narrative and imagery and richness. There's playground slang and prejudice. And suddenly a pared-down, lyric directness…'
    Tony Williams, Magma
    'Fully alive to our financialized, precarious situation, this poet is also alive to the human sensorium and the revels of language—its permutations, transmutations. Moon for Sale announces in its very title this poet's mordant wit but also his romanticism. A formidable intelligence powers this work, its whiplashing jingles and ditties, its visual poems, its sonic brilliances, its micro-shifts and micro-tones, its ominous deadpans, dry diagnoses. Yet for all Price's severities, we also encounter 'intimate risks,/a whispered promise.' He is one of our most attentive, delicate, ferocious transmitters, singers, makers.'
    Maureen N. McLane
    'Richard Price retains an individual voice in which intense feelings of love, or dislocation, are packed into often short, complex lyrics. There is a tension in reading his poems which is created by his care for words, by the integrity of his distillation.'
    Carol Ann Duffy
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