Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
If it were not for Carcanet, my library would be unbearably impoverished.
Louis de Bernieres

Lucky Day

Richard Price

Cover Picture of Lucky Day
Categories: 21st Century, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (128 pages)
(Pub. Feb 2005)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Lucky Day begins with natural landscapes through which love and lyric flicker and flare. The sparrows, pigeons and magpies of the urban periphery lighten the atmosphere, edging the collection towards the city in the funny elegy 'Bird List'. The sequence that follows, 'Hand Held', is personal and vulnerable, a finally celebratory exploration of his experience as the father of a child with severe learning difficulties. The collection concludes with poems of love and memory, affirming in the end the luck of survival.
    Table of Contents


    'All the days'

    'They were your letters yesterday'

    Dual sculls

    'Supper will keep'

    'the broad bellies'


    the frame

    'Rare calm on the rattled moor'

    Three oasthouses

    A world without earth

    Net results



    Better trees

    the white horse

    The organised forest

    For December


    Hedge Sparrows


    Mandarin Duck

    Great Crested Grebe








    Song Thrush

    Ring Necked Parakeet

    Carrion Crow


    Domestic geese




    Lick and stick



    Save? / Send? / Delete?

    As a


    Fishbones of aerials



    Separate again

    Wrong again


    Holiday romance





    Tensioned frame

    Less said


    I wish

    Passenger side


    Behind you

    Marks and Sparks

    As, as

    Then, again


    Fitted sheet

    Engagement / Strike

    On, off, over

    I bet

    Odi et amo

    Think for thinking

    Art lover

    A new establishment


    Lucky day


    As if


    A dash


    Than we are

    Anne and the Royal



    Victory in Europe

    'Speech absent'

    Dopey has Angelman's Syndrome


    Nothing promised

    So the palm faces

    See, touch on the baby gym

    Gallery / zoo


    Little bear

    The clutter back


    The grip

    Only child

    Logger's Leap

    R for Robert

    blue, quilted



    The taps just flow hot and cold

    For Katie's toes

    The world is busy, Katie

    The late show

    Air miles

    That song

    Wake up and play


    The price-dream ratio

    Surely the certainties


    'I have two daughters'

    The twins

    A bow-tie pattern


    Hand held

    A news

    The truants will be suspended

    An authority

    Deportment / Deportation

    Slow films

    Softened, bright

    Big Bang research


    All light

    In your generous hours

    Farewell remembering a goodbye

    Richard Price is Head of Contemporary British Collections at the British Library and a tutor at the Poetry School, London. He has published over a dozen books of poetry since his debut in 1993, including Lucky Day (2005), which was a Guardian Book of the Year and shortlisted for the Whitbread ... read more
    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
    Short-listed, 2008 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of the Year Award
    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
    '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
    Praise for Richard Price 'It's an extraordinary book... Price has often been characterised by his delicacy and precision, his flexible sensuality of tone and gentleness, a domestic familiarity and a sense of respect that is neither pious nor self-regarding, and never sentimental. But here is a new departure, as if the arrival of a child later in the poet's life, and the imposing, impending threats of violence in the world around us, heighten both the claims of the human and the principles of virtue that obtain within the poetry itself.'
    Alan Riach, The National

    'The book is refreshingly without judgment of the Inuit's customs and mores.'

    Jacqueline Schaalje, Mayday Magazine

     'The Owner of the Sea brings Arctic cultural history to new audiences. In Price's skilful rendering, these retellings of Inuit myths leave the reader wanting to learn more about the rich heritage of our neighbours in the north.'

    Ingibjörg Ágústsdóttir, The Bottle Imp

    '[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...'
    The TLS
    '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 
    '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 directness…'
    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
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog Sidetracks: Bei Dao, translated by Jeffrey Yang read more Polkadot Wounds: Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo read more Ambush at Still Lake: Caroline Bird read more On a New Blue Poets Plaque: E.J. Scovell by Michael Schmidt read more Mary O'Malley: The Shark Nursery read more From Base Materials: Jenny Lewis read more
Find your local bookshop logo
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2024 Carcanet Press Ltd