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These are a traveller's poems: American desert and city, the Canadian seaboard, a garden in Mexico that time and topography have undermined, and another in Gloucestershire that careful hands have maintained.
It has long been said that Charles Tomlinson was one of the first poets to learn from American poetry. Like his stylistic influences, his journeyings have contributed to bringing out his Englishness, challenging it and keeping it spry, for there is humour and a frequent wit in these poems.
Awards won by Charles Tomlinson Winner, 2003 New Criterion Poetry Prize (Skywriting)
Praise for Charles Tomlinson 'Charles Tomlinson has been probably the foremost poet of truly international distinction writing in England between the 1950s and the opening years of the Twenty-first Century.'
Ian Brinton, Tears in the Fence
'It is entirely appropriate that David Morley should have chosen the title Swimming Chenango Lake for this book and the poem of that name, written in September 1967, stands as 'Prologue' to a volume which will at last place Charles Tomlinson's name at the forefront of the poetry of the twentieth century.'
Ian Brinton, The London Magazine
'Tomlinson was a wide-ranging poet. His technical scope includes free form and more traditional structures, and he is a master of both. They cohabit enrichingly in Swimming Chenango Lake... a finely chosen collection for existing enthusiasts and an excellent introduction for newcomers.'
Carol Rumens, The Guardian
'His poetry stuns us by its formal rigour, its punctiliousness, its syntactical mastery, its long, building effects. Unmissable.'
Michael Glover, The Tablet
'Tomlinson is one of the most astute, disciplined, and lucent poets of his generation. His quiet, meditative voice will reverberate on both sides of the Atlantic for a long time to come.'
Edward Hirsch 'Tomlinson's work and his new volume achieve balance, synthesis and wonderful expression. Add to this that he is also very funny, and I trust you have abandoned any reason not to buy the book. Let's be proud of him.'
David Morley, the Guardian 'Tomlinson has an international reputation as a poet and translator. He is also a painter and brings his artist's eye to his poetry, drawing out exact lines, creating luminous imagery that is still touched by a sense of mystery. Please read him...his collection Seeing is Believing is one of my all-time favourites.'
Sion Hamilton, The Bookseller pick of 2006. 'He has divided his line according to a new measure learned, perhaps, for a new world. It gives a refreshing rustle or seething to the words which bespeak the entrance of a new life'.
William Carlos Williams 'Against the word as spectacle, Tomlinson opposes the concept -- a very English one -- of the world as event...He is fascinated -- with his eyes open: a lucid fascination -- by the universal busyness, the continuous generation and degeneration of things'.
Octavio Paz 'Tomlinson insists, and he has a right to insist, that he is as authentic a voice of modern Britain as Larkin is. Only in the great poets is content so intimately married to form'.
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
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