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Peter Reading: Collected Poems 3 (1997-2003)

Authors: Peter Reading

Published by Bloodaxe Books

ISBN: 9781852246259

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For 40 years Peter Reading has been one of Britain's most original and controversial poets: angry, uncompromising, gruesomely ironic, hilarious and heartbreaking ñ as funny as he is disconcerting. He is probably the most skilful and technically inventive poet writing today, mixing the matter and speech of the gutter with highly sophisticated metrical and syllabic patterns to produce scathing and grotesque accounts of lives blighted by greed, meanness, ignorance, political ineptness and cultural impoverishment.

Each of his collections has been self-contained, as carefully constructed and plotted as a novel, interweaving voices and narrative strands which can now be seen to link the 24 books which make up his Collected Poems. This is published in three volumes from Bloodaxe: Poems 1970-1984 (1995), Poems 1985-1996 (1996) and Poems 1997-2003 (2003). He has since produced two later collections, -273.15 (2005) and Vendage Tardive (2010).

The collections included (in full) in Volume 3 of his Collected Poems are: Work in Regress (1997), Ob. (1999), Marfan (2000), [untitled] (2001), Faunal (2002), Civil (2002) and d (2003).

"Deliberately squalid, violent and apocalyptic contemporary contents are yoked to forms that for the best part of three millennia have been used for the beautiful and the heroic."
Michael Hofmann, The Times

"Reading has spent 25 years creating a body of work which vindicates Tom Paulin's description of him as 'the unofficial laureate of a decaying England'Ö Now that his entire corpus, astonishing in its range and integrity, is available, it is hard to see how Reading's role has for so long been under-recognisedÖ Reading has completed a quarter-century masterpiece which has successfully blended the personal, the national and the global. The result is an epic lament for a species given to cruelty and self-destruction, employing a vast array of traditional forms and genres."
Robert Potts, The Guardian

"Peter Reading's most characteristic work, always economical, is now concise to the point of tersenessÖ leaving sparser textures and a sometimes painfully direct expression of personal sadness, anger and despair."
Alan Jenkins
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