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James Keery

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  • Reviews
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  • James Keery lives in Culcheth with his wife Julie and teaches English in Wigan. He has published a collection of poems, That Stranger, The Blues, and edited Carcanet's Apocalypse, an anthology of mid-century visionary modernist poetry; also the Collected Poems of the Scottish poet Burns Singer.
    'The sheer range of voices on display in Apocalypse: An Anthology is as thrilling as the poems are at times challenging, even difficult'

    Chris Moss, The Poetry Review 

    'Apocalypse is a litany of the lost, and offers up various and distinct categories of the poetic undead... [it] redefines modern British poetry with exemplary panache.'

     David Wheatley, The Guardian

    'The wealth of talent on offer is simply extraordinary... What Keery does show, regardless of labels, is a wealth of almost unknown work - work of such high standard that history books of poetry with their neat categories and vast omissions might need extra chapters that tease out the sheer quantity of good poems, rather than assuming that what has fallen through the cracks of time is best left there.'

    David Hackbridge Johnson

    'Apocalypse is passionate. It represents a raised pitch and extended conceptual scope, a turn towards biblical and epic tone if only momentarily, and an amplification of address by which words may transcend even an excessive figurative function which remains controlled, such as Surrealism, and appear to violate the dialect itself, momentarily or consistently. There is also a characteristic rhythmic drive, frequently empowering a first-person declaration ... Keery's anthology proposes a spread of ability beyond the relevance of experts or judges, poems which are sent out into the world to fend for themselves, enlivened by attachment to a strong history.This anthology must have taken an immense amount of dedicated work; in fact I can't imagine how he managed to uncover so many worthwhile poems hidden away in forgotten poetry magazines and old small-press books. The history of British poetry in the twentieth century will never be the same again.'

    Peter Riley, Fortnightly Review

    'It's incredible. Right into my favourite anthologies of all time.'

    Max Porter

    'Can I find fault with this anthology? I tried, but I was overwhelmed - it gives everything you could possibly ask for and travels to places which this reviewer did not know existed... Keery has found poets we didn't even know about... This recovery of the real story of the Forties is a unique achievement, but is also a rehearsal for the even larger project of recovering the whole history of 'alternative' poetry since 1937, and for the first time drawing a map of modern British poetry which is based on information rather than a wish to control the market'

    Andrew Duncan, Tears in the Fence

    Awards won by James Keery Short-listed, 2021 The Scottish Poetry Book of the Year (Apocalypse)
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