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Captive Audience

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854111487

£5.95
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Private and public worlds collide in this second collection of poems by Paul Henry. A cast that includes, amongst others, butchers, teachers, hairdressers, mechanics and town planners sustains this poet's awareness of human strengths and frailties. Acutely portrayed in the moving middle sequence, where the fall from grace of an elderly father is charted, familial tensions occur throughout Captive Audience.

Fatherless friends, sisterly cousins, brothers who 'clench their grins and pebbly fists', the helplessly 'saved and damned' subjects of 'The Breath of Sleeping Boys', all convey Henry's ability to simultaneously praise and elegise. Elsewhere, in poems like 'For X and Y', 'Love Birds' and 'Recital', he skilfully 'adjusts the volume' of his work between music and silence.

This book confirms Paul Henry's position as an original voice in contemporary poetry.

"Paul Henry's second collection, Captive Audience, is firmly rooted in the ordinary; yet at the same time it reveals the sacredness that is hidden there."
Times Literary Supplement

"Henry reminds us that extraordinary poetry is to be discovered in the ordinary events of love... there are few contemporary poets who are as confident of their emotional terrain, few as able to praise so uninhibitedly."
New Welsh Review

Paul Henry was born in Aberystwyth in 1959. He currently lives in Gwent with his wife and three sons. Originally a singer-songwriter, he combines freelance writing with working as a Careers Adviser. In 1989 he received an Eric Gregory Award.
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