The Crumb Road
Published by Bloodaxe Books
Poetry Book Society Recommendation
Maitreyabandhu’s thematically varied debut collection includes poems of spiritual transcendence as well as meditations on love, memory and sexuality. Sometimes comic, often elegiac, the poems convey the pleasures and terrors of childhood as well as the mystical world of fable.
Truthful, tender, and written with a kind of wonderment, the collection culminates in ‘Stephen’, an extended sequence of poems exploring a clandestine, and finally tragic, relationship between two boys.
For Maitreyabandhu – a Buddhist teacher and member of the Triratna Buddhist Order for over twenty years – The Crumb Road is an image for the unreliability of memory, and for the vital thread of human value that connects us to the spiritual world.
'The Crumb Road has a rich, melancholy modesty, and to spend time with it enriches our attention.' - Sean O'Brien, The Guardian
'Maitreyabandhu’s work beautifully, and seriously, contains the possibilities of what other traditions might call insight.' – Fiona Sampson, Poetry Review
'Maitreyabandhu’s poetry opens vistas. Reading his work is an unusual pleasure. He is a poet of journeys great and small – and the reader is privileged to be his companion.' – Carol Rumens
Praise for Maitreyabandhu's pamphlet, The Bond, winner of the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition and shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award:
'Nostalgic, but not sentimental or wistful, the poems have a real sense of the here and now. They strike home' – Simon Armitage.
'The Bond shows how much can be achieved, by a poet of real ability, with the simplest, seemingly the most self-denying means: authenticity, clarity, faithfulness to experience or the memory of it, in an apparently artless language that has in fact been carefully worked into significant form' – Alan Jenkins, Michael Marks Awards (chair of judges).
'The Bond by Maitreyabandhu consists largely of fragments of blank verse autobiography, full of sharply registered sense impressions from which other meanings gradually loosen and lift… he also insists that a simple, resonant rightness is the hallmark of all true art' – Andrew McCulloch, TLS.
'The poems in this slim but satisfying pamphlet…characterised by a quiet lucidity of vision… lovingly recreate a world of small pleasures, discoveries and terrors' – Jem Poster, Poetry Review.
'…tactile, sensual, and often elegiac in tone… in a voice that is honest, thoughtful and engaging' – Stand.
'…shows a quiet scrupulosity in building an atmosphere and a sense of the waverings of memory through an accumulation of finely-observed detail' – Stride.