'One of the most serious and authoritative voices in contemporary British poetry' - Guardian
Over seventeen years and nine collections, John Burnside has built - in the words of Bernard O'Donoghue - 'a poetic corpus of the first significance', a poetry of luminous, limpid grace. His territory is the no-man's-land of threshold and margin, the charmed half-light of the liminal, a domestic world threaded through with mystery, myth and longing.
In this Selected Poems we can see themes emerge and develop within the growing confidence of Burnside's sinuous lyric poise: the place of the individual in the world, the idea of dwelling, of home, within that community, and the lure of absence and escape set against the possibilities of renewal and continuity.
This is consummate, immaculate work born out of a lean and agile craftsmanship, profound philosophical thought and a haunted, haunting imagination; the result is a poetry that makes intimate, resonant, exquisite music.
“If genius is operating anywhere in English poetry at present, I feel it is here, in Burnside's singular music”
Adam Thorpe, Observer
“A stunningly good writer of poetry and fiction”
“One of the most outstandingly gifted poets in Britain. He, like one of his subjects, is 'turned into the plainsong of the stars'”
“Burnside has a stillness and emotional restraint, a respect for the observer and observed alike which is serious, exemplary and rare”
Times Literary Supplement
“I love the way John Burnside looks at the world. He doesn't just look: he watches. He sees into the secret spaces that lie somewhere between the hidden and the revealed... [He] crafts a poetry as precise in its detail, as subtle in its perceptions, as respectful in its attentions as the blade of a brain surgeon's scalpel”
Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times