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Striking a Match in a Storm
New and Collected Poems
Categories: 21st Century, British, Welsh
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (320 pages)
(Pub. Mar 2022)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Mar 2022)
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The Welsh poet Andrew McNeillie brings together in this generous and timely volume his seven collections of poems – including his most recent, Making Ends Meet, and his Forward-Prize-shortlisted Carcanet collection Nevermore (2000). McNeillie's poems possess the same precision and ear for other voices which have made him a noted nature writer and an influential editor of the handsomely designed eco-literature magazine Archipelago, and like it, take as their focus the 'unnameable archipelago' of Britain and Ireland, at its wilder margins, with close observation of place, community, and hands-on outdoor experience. His celebrated memoir An Aran Keening (2001) is about a year's stay on one of the islands of that Archipelago. His publishing house Clutag Press produces beautiful limited editions of work by some of his favourite writers – Hill and Heaney among them.
He is a witty writer and an ironist, but he is also a visionary in the sense that his poems sharpen vision of the environment and the crucial minutiae of the natural world we partly inhabit.
'Striking a Match in a Storm illustrates that McNeillie is one of Wales's leading modern poets, and his work ranks alongside that of Gwyneth Lewis, Robert Minhinnick, Gillan Clarke and Dannie Abse. No anthology of Welsh poetry will ever be complete again without a comprehensive selection of McNeillie's poetry.'
PC Evans, Poetry Wales
'The wind blows hard and the sea crashes through his poems, brilliant and evocative of the littoral... [a] multifarious collection. Striking a Match in a Storm demonstrates an outstanding nature writer at the helm of these poems.'
Dan McCarthy, Irish Examiner
Praise for Andrew McNeillie 'A living poetic language flows, easy and slangy, the occasional poems which punctuate the later part of the collection are vitalized and real, among them elegies that remember mourning his father's death, and other deaths, which ring true, urged into being by poetry itself.'
Gillian Clarke 'The finest poems here are witty and elegiac, comforting and cajoling and speak of pervading human concerns with a rare lyrical ease and quiet authority. McNeillie's special gift is for providing the pleasure that comes from recognition: we can see ourselves in his poems. The book carries an epigram from Wordsworth, and there is a Wordsworthian sense of audience and connection in this collection.'
Times Literary Supplement'There is some extraordinary virtuosity here - in one poem, he finds 33 half-rhymes for 'envy'.
John Greening, Country Life
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