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My Reef My Manifest Array

John Wilkinson

Cover of My Reef My Manifest Array by John Wilkinson
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784106 91 1
Categories: 21st Century, American, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: January 2019
216 x 135 x 15 mm
192 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB)
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  • In 1487 Sir Henry Bodrugan, pursued for treason, leapt from a Cornish clifftop into a waiting boat and fled to France. Bodrugan’s Leap, as the clifftop has come to be known, lies close to John Wilkinson’s childhood home, and supplies the title for the central cycle of poems in My Reef My Manifest Array. That totemic image of exile feeds an interest in borders and partings that runs throughout the collection. The Cornish landscape of the poet’s childhood, loaded with new significance following the death of his sister, is Wilkinson’s primary locus, but he ventures – flees, perhaps – farther afield, to Portland (Maine), Chicago, Sydney and Busan.

    Combining extended sequences with brief lyrics, Wilkinson’s lines tie minuscule linguistic knots that give pleasure when unwoven. The reading becomes archaeological as layers and layers of meaning, of feeling, of reason are exposed.
    John Wilkinson was born in London and grew up on theCornish coast and on Dartmoor. After university at Cambridge he trainedas a psychiatric nurse and worked in mental health services and public health in the West Midlands, South Wales and London’s East End. In 2005 he moved to the United States ... read more
     'Wilkinson's method is essentially Metaphysical, a poetry of paradox, complex, subtle and 'difficult', but rewarding, exploring philosophical concerns through controlled Baroque language games, with elaborate simile to the fore.'
    Billy Mills, Elliptical Movements
     'In his inimitable manner of complex and various lyricism... Array could be regarded as a kind of extended post-Romantic lyric which takes on themes that vary from the death of his sister to his childhood experiences in Cornwall...the whole is infused with a certain wit and lyrical sophistication'
    Clark Allison, Stride
    'These poems knock the head around enough to cause whiplash.'
    Nathaniel Mackey
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