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  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407092638
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 96

Blues



Subversive and satirical, inventive, wry and unconventional, John Hartley Williams has long been celebrated for his maverick sensibility, for his outsider's take on the way we live our lives. In Blues, his eighth collection, he focuses with new directness on the turmoil of Germany and Eastern Europe, and writes eloquently about being English, and staying English, in a continental climate, through all the upheavals of the last fifteen years. Alert to the intricacies and ironies of the language, to the musculature of politics and passion, these poems are chronicles of change, wired to the energies of jazz and science fiction, yet the under-song is a threnody for the loss of a kind of Englishness - voiced powerfully in a moving elegy for the poet Ken Smith. While there is no diminishing of his comic brio, no dulling of his incisive, questioning intelligence, BLUES finds John Hartley Williams taking on subjects of new depth and complexity - while maintaining his characteristic lightness of touch, imagination and profound originality.

  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407092638
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 96

About the author

John Hartley Williams

John Hartley Williams is an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist and critic. He has published nine collections of poetry, including Blues (2004), two of which have been shortlisted for the T.S Eliot Prize and he won the Arvon International Poetry Competition in 1983. He has also written a romance, Mystery in Spiderville (2002), and co-edited Teach Yourself Writing Poetry. He teaches English at the Free University of Berlinand has lived in Berlin since 1976.

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Praise for Blues

He is a strong, sophisticated, funny original. Since 1983, the poems in his collections have explored sex, politics, the wild west, and language in a wide range of styles: formal, direct, swashbucklingly experimental. The mix of traditionalism and ignoring convention shakes you into reading with fresh eyes and mind.

Ruth Padel, Independent on Sunday

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