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March 26 , 2009

One Thousand Nights and Counting

Selected Poems


This book selects from twenty years of Glyn Maxwell’s poetry, and provides a concise introduction to one of the most imaginatively gifted poets of the age. Maxwell’s is perhaps the most immediately recognizable voice in British poetry: wry, wise, compellingly rhythmic, and everywhere carrying a sense of the dramatic line no other British poet has won for their verse since W. H. Auden. While wholly contemporary in their social and political concerns, these poems are haunted by forgotten histories, traditional fairytale and myth, parallel worlds which mirror or merge with our own. As Joseph Brodsky noted early in his career, the beating heart of this imaginative risk is the syntax itself: in Maxwell’s hands the poetic sentence becomes a fluid, new and protean thing, a means by which the very structure of time, voice and location may be questioned and made strange. Maxwell is a poet essential to understanding our own unstable times, and few other contemporary writers give us such pause before the world we thought we knew.

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