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Identity Parade: New British & Irish Poets

Identity Parade: New British & Irish Poets

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Featured in The Observer's Best Books of the Year 2010

Identity Parade presents new British and Irish poetry at a time of great vibrancy and variety. It is the first anthology to comprehensively represent the generation of poets who have emerged since the mid-1990s.

Eclectic, diverse and wide-ranging in scope, the book fully reflects the climate of 'the pluralist now'. It offers the work of 85 highly individual and distinctive talents whose poems display the breadth of styles and approaches characteristic of our current poetry.

These writers are prospering all over Britain and Ireland – from Shetland to Aberystwyth, from Gravesend to Galway – as well as further afield. Many new and undersung poets appear alongside this generation's most celebrated names, and probably for the first time in any major poetry anthology, more women writers than men are featured. All the poets have either published first collections within the past 15 years or make their debut within the next year.

Identity Parade is as accessible to the new reader as to the aficionado, with each poet introduced by a biographical note also covering their themes and concerns, plus an author photograph. This is the essential starting place for anyone interested in the poetry of here and now.

"A valuable record of the best new British and Irish poets of the past 15 years."
Daljit Nagra, The Observer

"A bold, ambitious anthology that attempts to reflect the diversity of styles at play in British and Irish poetry today."
Paul Batchelor, The Times, Poetry: best collections of the year 2010

"Anyone wanting to take the pulse of contemporary British and Irish verse could do no better than start here."
Daily Mail

"It is worth paying attention to this book because it comes from Bloodaxe, one of the most successful of the small independent poetry publishers from before and since the Oxford University Press controversially closed its poetry list 11 years ago."
Alan Franks, 'Is one of these our future Poet Laureate?' feature, The Times

"This important and timely book offers a fascinating window on to the wide variety of poetry being produced in Britain and Ireland at the moment… It's an exhilarating anthology, its tone one of magnanimous pluralism. Not since Edward Lucie Smith's British Poetry Since 1945, published by Penguin in 1970, has one anthology embraced such a wide range of both experimental and formalist styles."
Charles Bainbridge, The Guardian

"Lumsden hosts a supremely eclectic party for 85 "new" British and Irish poets… [including] generation-definers such as Daljit Nagra and Kate Clanchy, Colette Bryce and Alice Oswald, and a host of guests who will count – for many readers – as smart or seductive discoveries."
Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

"Imagination, intelligence, scope, ambition, technical power and musicality: these, rather than attitudes or stylistic similarity, are what mark these writers out."
Sean O'Brien, Poetry Review

"The selection runs from Jacob Polley to Sophie Hannah, from Jen Hadfield to Daljit Nagra, and has a freshness and wit to outlive its own topicality."
Natalie Whittle, Financial Times

"... an eclectic, diverse and wide-ranging collection that displays distinctive and unique voices."
The Irish Post

"Take a bite of everything on offer here."
The Scotsman

Roddy Lumsden’s first book Yeah Yeah Yeah (1997) was shortlisted for Forward and Saltire prizes. His second collection The Book of Love (2000), a Poetry Book Society Choice, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2004) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Third Wish Wasted (Bloodaxe Books, 2009) is his latest collection. He is a freelance writer, specialising in quizzes and word puzzles, and has held several residencies, including ones with the City of Aberdeen, St Andrews Bay Hotel, and as 'poet-in-residence' to the music industry when he co-wrote The Message, a book on poetry and pop music (Poetry Society, 1999). His other books include Vitamin Q: a temple of trivia, lists and curious words (Chambers Harrap, 2004). Born in St Andrews, he lived in Edinburgh before moving to London, where he teaches privately and for the Poetry School.