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Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. Mar 1997)
You stand at the door (you sometimes are
the door) and, according to tradition, look
to the past year as well as to the new...
Peter Sansom's Everything You've Heard is True (Poetry Book Society Recommendation, 1990) was a notable début. The Times declared the poems on his Nottinghamshire childhood 'as good as Tony Harrison's adventures in a similar vein', celebrating 'a promising and unpretentious start'. In the Guardian, Carol Ann Duffy noted his 'mature assurance'. 'His poems are witty, realistic and imaginative,' said Peter Porter (Observer). 'Auden, Haydn and Uccello live in his pages as happily as snooker stars, Tesco and Extra Strong Mints'.
January is more ambitious. The surrealism of daily life lived inventively and cheerfully at or near the edge comes into its own. Sansom, a voracious reader, has learned his own lessons from the New York School, eastern Europe and his contemporaries. Playfulness is now more serious, though no less amusing, than before. There's candour in his confessions, and a novel particularity in his evocations of Yorkshire town-scapes. The characters that speak in his poems have real voices, complex representative hearts.
Praise for Peter Sansom 'A serious intelligence only lightly disguised as self-mockery and expressed via devastatingly clear-sighted observation.'
Yorkshire Post 'His writing gains its vitality from the tension between the desire to remember and the necessity of moving on.'
Poetry Review 'A congenial writer, whose usually informal metrical sense is, nevertheless, decisive and intuitively informed.'
Times Literary Supplement 'Personal, political, powerful'
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