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Was and Is

Collected Poems

Neil Powell

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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784102 32 6
Categories: 21st Century, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: January 2017
216 x 134 x 21 mm
278 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (PDF), eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Winner of the 2017 East Anglian Book Award for Poetry
    Winner of the 2017 East Anglian Writers 'Book by the Cover' Award

    There are two kinds of Collected Poems, one of which presents an author’s work exactly as it first appeared volume-by-volume. This is the other sort.

    In preparing this volume, Neil Powell has returned to his poems of the past fifty years and arranged them as nearly as possible in chronological order of completion. Some poems from previous volumes have been set aside, while others hitherto unpublished or uncollected have been introduced. The resulting book is partly the narrative of a lifetime in which certain themes, seen in changing lights, recur: landscape and seascape, music and poetry, friendship and the deaths of friends. Ranging from the playful to the elegiac, these poems now resonate with each other in new and unexpected ways.
    NEIL POWELL was born in London in 1948. He was educated at Sevenoaks School, where he founded and edited the award-winning magazine Verve and wrote on jazz as a ‘young critic’ for The Daily Telegraph ; and at the University of Warwick, where he read English and American Literature (BA, 1966–9) ... read more
    Awards won by Neil Powell Winner, 2017 East Anglian Writers Book by the Cover Award (Was and Is) Winner, 2017  East Anglian Book Awards (for Poetry)
    (Was and Is)
    'Throughout there are poems to and for friends and yet, paradoxically, Powell has the air of an outsider, solitary and watchful.' 

     D A Prince, the North

     ''Neil Powell's Was and Is: Collected Poems gathers together a lifetime of walking, seeing, reading and rhyming the landscapes of eastern England, and in particular the coast of Suffolk. The author's world of friends and books has a wide historical horizon, haunted by literary ghosts from George Crabbe to W.G. Sebald. This is a rich book full of the light of the changing seasons, the rhythms of weather and sea, and the little details of human life that add colour to every corner of these skilful, evocative, and painterly poems.''
    Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod (UEA), Poetry judge of the 2017 East Anglian Book Awards

         'His poetry has a rewarding range and depth, though memory and our ambivalent handling of memory is what he is best at. He is an elegiac poet, and in some ways a more valuable poet of loneliness than Larkin. Any younger reader who hasn't yet cottoned on to Powell should find this carefully considered 'Collected' rewarding: his is a quiet insistent voice at the heart of the tradition.'
    John Fuller

    'Neil Powell's poems are lucid, elegant, formal and humane .'
    Peter Scupham
    Praise for Neil Powell 'Like ordinary people, poets long to be loved. But all that is necessary is that they should be understood.'
    Roy Fuller
    'An exceptional poet of place, and of the East Anglian coast in particular: Neil Powell's Selected Poems thoroughly defines the peculiar atmospheres of that bleak landscape and seascape...'
    New Statesman
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