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The Threadbare Coat

Selected Poems

Thomas A. Clark

Edited by Matthew Welton

Cover of The Threadbare Coat by Thomas A Clark
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784109 98 1
Categories: 21st Century, British, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2020
216 x 135 x 15 mm
184 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • This Selected Poems celebrates Scotland's most distinctive contemporary writer - a vivid minimalist, ruralist and experimentalist.
    Thomas A. Clark
    Thomas A. Clark lives in the small fishing village of Pittenweem, an the east coast of Scotland. He has published four previous collections of poetry, and numerous small books and cards with his own Moschatel Press. In the summer months, with the artist Laurie Clark, he runs Cairn, a project space ... read more
    Matthew Welton
    Matthew Welton's poems take a playful approach to language and often blur the boundaries between poetry and other forms, such as fiction, music and visual art. His three previous Carcanet books are: The Book of Matthew (2003), We needed coffee but we'd got ourselves convinced that the later we left it ... read more
    Awards won by Thomas A. Clark Short-listed, 2017 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award (Farm by the Shore )
    Praise for Thomas A. Clark 'In short, one-breath clusters of lines, Clark meditates on the details one might observe during a contemplative and solitary walk through remote countryside. His diction is perfectly pitched and his grammar exact...this is about a man's spiritual need for the humblest manifestations of nature.'

    Philip Rush, the North  

    'Meaning is discovered between spaces, silences heard between sound...a vitally alert poet.'
    London Magazine


    'A remarkable portrayal of our contemplative relationship with nature.'
    Church Times Best Books of 2017


      'With radical simplicity, Thomas A Clark's writing gives us the unfussy beauty of the natural world. There's not much that I ask of poetry that isn't present here.'
    Matthew Welton
    'These are love poems to the geography of Scotland and in their own inimitable way bring a clarity and vision to the 'scree slope' that 'tumbles/ into the green lochan.'.'
    Casey Charles, Dundee University Review of the Arts
      'The Hundred Thousand Places stands at a tentative and oblique angle to the more established modes of pastoral writing. There is a beautiful moment in George Oppen's 'Psalm' when he exclaims of some deer, 'That they are there!', and the fact of the natural world's being there at all supersedes the need for description. There is plenty of description in these poems, but they too converge on a place of revelation whose name is simply 'there'.'
    The Guardian
    'Space, pace and wild beauty are on the reader's mind throughout this tantalising collection.'
    Scottish Review of Books
    'Thomas A Clark has produced a book-length poem of genuine visionary intent… The Hundred Thousand Places realigns our understanding of the lyric voice and of its investment in the natural world.'
    Poetry London
    Praise for Matthew Welton 'Through Welton's abundant assonance and alliteration, through the accents and rhythms of his syntax, sensations become linguistically tangible... Welton probes ordinary micro-phenomena to reveal the ineffable... Throughout Squid Squad, the reader is in the company of an acute observer and expert linguist turning his attention to his own use of language. Welton is without peer when it comes to putting slow motion perceptions into words'

    Nasser Hussain, Times Literary Supplement
    'Welton is a poet who resists the idea of a stable, complete, consumable poem, as his iterative patterns of poems (in a book that calls itself 'a novel') show - and certainly, both books are short on satisfaction, questioning in different ways what poetic satisfaction might be. The mimed actions, like unoriginal incorrect versions of ancient epigrams, seem to take us to the brink of textual meaning, again and again, and then leave us there, like cartoon coyotes, scrabbling in midair.'

    The Poetry Review

    'There's a melancholy undertow to his humour: taken together, these poems come to feel like glimpses into the Eleanor Rigby-ish private lives of all the lonely people, as they sit at home, playing with peanut shells, drawing on the walls, lost in tangled thoughts, doing nothing.'

    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph

    'Welton's tuning-fork sentences make small things sing with precise beauty'
    Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times
    'I'm also eagerly awaiting the publication of The Book Of Matthew by Matthew Welton but I'll have to wait until September. He's a poet who has consistently (but slowly) produced some stunningly beautiful work - but this is his first complete book.'
    Dave Gorman, The Observer
    'I think this is the first poetry book I've recommended, but it's just stunning and deserves far wider recognition. While there's a playfulness and a lightness of touch to the writing it also left me feeling that every single word was in exactly the right place. Beautiful.'
    Dave Gorman
    'It arrives with a unique and distinct sensibility; his poems create their own evocative and elusive worlds. There is a kind of relaxed quizzical sensuality running throughout, an easy, compelling confidence.'
    Guardian
    'It arrives with a unique and distinct sensibility; his poems create their own evocative and elusive worlds. There is a kind of relaxed quizzical sensuality running throughout, an easy, compelling confidence.'
    The Guardian
    'You're unlikely to read anything like it . . . poems are rarely so curious, precise and committed to their enquiry.'
    Jack Underwood
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