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Idols

Stephen Romer

Stephen Romer, Idols (cover)
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • The idols of Stephen Romer's first collection refer to those compelling human images or ideas that insinuate themselves into every level of consciousness. Some of the poems here celebrate these temporary gods, others attempt vigorously to exorcise them; all are forms of homage.

    Writing in the New Statesman, Derek Mahon singled out Stephen Romer's work for its 'emotional candour and intellectual clarity'. A trenchant style and a flexible rhythm sustain these qualities at a high level of intensity, and he commands an unusually expressive tonal range. His poems are marked out too for their vitality and wit.
    Stephen Romer was born in Hertfordshire in 1957 and read English at Cambridge. Since 1981 he has lived in France, where he is Maître de Conférences at Tours University. He has held Visiting Fellowships at Oxford and Cambridge and has taught in the US. He has published four full collections, including ... read more
    Praise for Stephen Romer 'Stasis is the great enemy of a mind as active as Romer's and his poems are often a means of avoiding it, except when by some conjuring trick they attempt to arrest time... This is a book of elegant benedictions that allow for ecstasy and its opposite, and are fitting, memorable companions for either.'
    Declan Ryan, TLS
    'Reading Romer's poetry will leave you with a sense of calm and clarity because this long serving poet has developed a technical control that allows even for mysticism without rattling the bodily cage too much'
    Claire Crowther, Magma
       'A characteristic blend of self-examination and what feels like a classically trained sense of beauty, clarity and proportion. There is something Bergman-esque about Romer's work.'
    New Statesman
    'Stephen Romer has achieved a breakthrough in these new poems. The death of his father has torn away a veil, releasing a fresh energy and vision.'
    Hugo Williams
    'If Tribute is haunted by aphasia, exile and the loss of continuity, those fears are shadows that give body to the essences more insistently dwelt upon, and these are apprehended with a depth of spiritual resource that is almost mystical.'
    Clive Wilmer on Tribute, in Times Literary Supplement
    'Austerely eloquent treatments of lost love and the complexities of family are juxtaposed with reflections on art and poetry - exactly the civilised range of interests that might strike fear into the incurious. Readers open to Romer's scrupulous, passionate music and the conversational intimacy of his address will gather rich rewards, however.'
    Sean O'Brien, Culture, 11 January 2009
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