Friday, 20 December 2013

End of year lists

I'd like to beg forgiveness for a little bit of own-trumpet-blowing now, as Rob Mackenzie has selected The Elephant Tests as one of his favourite books of 2013, over at his excellent blog, Surroundings.

It's an intriguing list all-round. I'd agree with pretty much everything Rob says about the Luke Kennard and Ahren Warner collections. The latter, I know, seems to have divided opinions pretty sharply, but as Rob says, the sheer ambition and individuality at the very least mean that it forces you to have an opinion about it.

Andy Philip's collection is awaiting me at home, and I look forward to reading it over the holiday. He set himself a very high standard to maintain with his debut, The Ambulance Box, but the poems that I've read from the new book raise the bar even higher, if anything.

The Gillian Allnutt and Dai George books both sound right up my street, so I'll be looking to get hold of them soon, and the Robert Bly/Tomas Transtromer letters too.

Finally, Rob's own excellent second collection, The Good News, is available here, and deserves to be on more than a few end of year lists itself - it's a genuinely questioning, intellectually curious book, yet every bit as readable and playful as his debut.

All of which reminds me, I need to compile my own lists...

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