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Categories: 21st Century, British, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2009)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Oct 2009)
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If 'Two halves of nothing'
cuts out on the radio,
if the river's up
past the stereo,
if everything good
you needed to know
gets lost in the flood,
you remember it
from 'Two halves of nothing'
Teasing, funny and celebratory - Rays is a wry and tender lover's gift. Continuing Richard Price's virtuosic playfulness of form, it improvises on the formal shape of sonnet and canzone, charging them with the energy of blues and rock, glimpsing narratives of desire. In a restless, sleepless landscape where language becomes shrill, an alphabet of love poems creates a dreamy island, between the solace of haiku and the precisions of Emily Dickinson. The Renaissance poet Louise Labé and an imaginary band, The Loss Adjusters, sing the complex beauties of passion.
Cover painting: Passing Aquaintance by Dorothy Stirling (2009), reproduced by kind permission of the artist. Cover design by StephenRaw.com.
Wake Up and Sleep
The thought keeps counting
Continuous Positive Air Pressure
Wake up and sleep
Your eyes translate me
From the moment
Earliest Spring Yet
Manet with Mardy
A shape, the past
As if a song
A century find
Earliest spring yet
Age of Exploration
The long low structure
Songs for the Loss Adjusters
Two halves of nothing
Last train, full of couples
I’m writing to write again
little but often
Rhyme nor Reason
The snow gets it
Darkness and Dazzle
Darkness and dazzle
Like a student gardener
Awards won by Richard Price Short-listed, 2017 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award (Moon for Sale) Winner, 2013 Creative Scotland SMIT Poetry Book of the Year
(Small World) Short-listed, 2010 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of the Year Award
(Rays) Short-listed, 2008 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of the Year Award
(Greenfields) Short-listed, 2005 Jerwood/Aldeburgh First Collection Prize
(Lucky Day) Short-listed, 2005 Whitbread Poetry Book of the Year
(Lucky Day) Short-listed, 2005 Forward Felix Dennis First Collection Prize
(Lucky Day) Runner-up, 1997 Paul Hamlyn Poetry Award, for pamphlet Hand Held Winner, 1988 Winner, STV Creative Writing Prize, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde Winner, 1988 Keith Wright Memorial Prize for Poetry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Winner, 1987 Keith Wright Memorial Prize for Poetry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Praise for Richard Price '[a] wonderful and unexpectedly timely book.'
David James, Anchorage Daily News
'There is nothing missing. The stories inhabit a world compounded of the continuing subsistence hunting economy and centuries of shamanistic magic in which animals, especially hunted animals, will speak to you, seduce you, trick you, help you, murder you... as indeed the humans do to each other. They are full of sexual and scatological obscenities, acts of cruelty, dishonour and betrayal not to mention cannibalism, and it's all there; nothing is toned down. One can freely feel that the Inuit imaginative sphere is faithfully and fearlessly represented.'
Peter Riley, The Fortnightly Review
'Each tale is full of bawdy, fun and cruelty in the best of the old storytelling tradition. Price walks a tightrope between outright filth and respectable poetic style with an effortlessness that is majestic to behold...These are stories that should be more well-known, and Price's translation ought to become the standard version in English. A timeless collection.'
Joe Darlington, Manchester Review of Books
'True myths are contradictory, ambiguous, always shape-shifting as much as the characters. Price captures this with precision... Price's poetry has always had a lapidary quality balanced with a lilting, almost nursery rhyme rhythm. It works exceptionally well in this collection.'
Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman
'He is a poet with a huge range of styles, for whom no subject matter is outlawed... He clusters similar poems so they sing to each other - a group of nature poems, a medley of songs - and the opening, penultimate and final poems are gracious, gentle and pleasing. We're never in any doubt that we're in the company of an unusual intelligence, but he is clever in a generous way.'
Mandy Haggith, Gutter Magazine
'Poets have to be linguistic virtuosi, but I prefer them to be brilliant quietly. Richard Price's poetry is inventive, sometimes dazzling, but never merely showy. I first came to Price's poetry with the publication of Lucky Day (2005) and every subsequent book has delivered fresh weather. Moon for Sale appeared in January 2017, and I'm still rereading it and finding new pleasures.'
Carol Rumens, Best Poetry Books of 2017, The Guardian
'A wryly playful poet...'
'There are also beautiful, intimate love poems which served to remind me that even in sad and dangerous times, human sweetness can prevail. There are also many moments of delicious humour.'
Josephine Corcoran, The North, Issue 58 (Summer 2017)
'Reading the poems you become aware you are in the presence of a mind working much more quickly and sharply than your own.'
The Poetry School 'Richard Price retains an individual voice in which intense feelings of love, or dislocation, are packed into often short, complex lyrics. There is a tension in reading his poems which is created by his care for words, by the integrity of his distillation.'
Carol Ann Duffy 'Price's humane intelligence manifests itself in deceptively simple and subtly musical forms of address. Readers who allow themselves the pleasure will not be disappointed.'
Robert Potts, The Guardian
'...when you come to such energy combined with impressive inventiveness and lyricism, it is rather hard to pass on by [...] the humour, the wittiness [are] there throughout, as is a boldness of utterance [...] Here, however sorrowful the story, I hope other readers too will feel the energy of language in the making.'
Caroline Clark, Eyewear 'A superb first line, 'No colours can mean more than Lego's' ('Delicate greenery'), leads on to an amazing arc of narrative and imagery and richness. There's playground slang and prejudice. And suddenly a pared-down, lyric directnessâ¦'
Tony Williams, Magma 'Richard Price retains an individual voice in which intense feelings of love, or dislocation, are packed into often short, complex lyrics. There is a tension in reading his poems which is created by his care for words, by the integrity of his distillation.'
Carol Ann Duffy
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