Allie Recommends: New Poetry to buy or borrow

My Darling From the Lions by Rachel Long

My Darling From the Lions by Rachel Long PBS Autumn Wild ...

Shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection
‘This debut collection is the modern poetry we need to read right now’ Stylist

‘An enchanting and heartwarming new voice in poetry.’ Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other

A much-anticipated debut collection of poems, My Darling from the Lions, announces Rachel Long’s arrival as an exciting new voice in poetry.

Each poem has a vivid story to tell – of family quirks, the perils of dating, the grip of religion or sexual awakening – stories that are, by turn, emotionally insightful, politically
conscious, wise, funny and outrageous.

My Darling from the Lions by Rachel Long is published by Picador £10.99

Luck is the Hook by Imtiaz Dharker


Luck is the Hook is Imitiaz Dharker’s sixth book from Bloodaxe. In these poems, chance plays a part in finding or losing people and places that are loved: a change in the
weather, a trick of language, a bomb that misses its mark, six pomegranate seeds eaten by mistake; all these events cast long shadows and raise questions about who is
recording them, about believing, not believing, wanting to believe.

Imtiaz Dharker was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2014 for her fifth collection Over the Moon and for her services to poetry.

Luck is the Hook by Imtiaz Dharker is published by Bloodaxe Books £12.00

Staying Human by Neil Astley


Staying Human is the sequel to the Staying Alive trilogy of anthologies, which have introduced many thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry. This fourth, edited
by the poetry genius that is Neil Astley (founder of Bloodaxe in 1978), offers poetry lovers an even broader, international selection of 500 more ‘real poems for unreal times’, with a strong focus on 21st-century poems addressing current issues.
There’s a strong focus on the human side of living in the 21st century in poems from the past two decades relating to migration, oppression, alienation and the individual’s struggle to hold on, stay connected and find meaning in an increasingly polarised world.

Staying Human also draws on poems suggested by readers because they’ve been so important in their own lives, as well as many poems which have gone viral after being
shared on social media because they speak to our times with such great immediacy.

Staying Human edited by Neil Astley is published by Bloodaxe £12.99 (OUT THIS

Surge by Jay Bernard

Buy Surge by Jay Bernard With Free Delivery |

‘Reading Jay Bernard’s Surge is like tapping into an energy source that reveals, in a blasting combination of excavation and incantation, a surfacing understanding that
connects the landscapes of the New Cross fire and the Grenfell Tower fire…and delivers these revelations with a strength and a gravity and a communal force of voice that
shakes every inhumane system’ Ali Smith, Newstatesman
Winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry

*Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award; T.S. Eliot Prize; Forward Prize for Best

First Collection; Dylan Thomas Prize; RSL Ondaatje Prize; John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize*
Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2020

Tracing a line from New Cross to the ‘towers of blood’ of the Grenfell fire, this urgent debut speaks with, in and of the voices of the past, brought back by the incantation of
dancehall rhythms and the music of Jamaican patois, to form a living presence in the absence of justice.

A ground-breaking work of excavation, memory and activism – both political and personal, witness and documentary – Surge shines a much-needed light on an
unacknowledged chapter in British history, one that powerfully resonates in our present

Surge by Jay Bernard is published by Chatto & Windus £10.00

A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson

A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson – The Poetry Book ...


‘Ranging from the most breath-taking poems about the Grenfell Tower fire to the most exquisitely moving poems about the premature birth of his son, who had to fight for his life in an incubator. His poems are deep, mature, moving and inventive.’ Bernadine Evaristo for New Statesman
‘With masterful timing and tone, Portable Paradise delivers a definitive statement on the wretchedness of the human experience. His offerings are provocative and decisively artful. His abundance impresses. From quotidian calamities and injustice, to the recount of history s darkest hours, Robinson relentlessly reminds us of the evil that stalks the land.’ Glenville Ashby, PhD, for Kaieteur News
‘There has been so much fabulous poetry published and celebrated in recent years however, with this book, you are in the hands of a brilliant artist. It is a raw, powerful and inspiring collection that will touch you deeply, and which you will return to often.’ Tricia Wombell for Words of Colour

Roger Robinson’s range is wide: the joys and pains of family life; the ubiquitous presence of racism, both subtle and unsubtle; observations on the threatening edge of
violence below the surface energies of Black British territories in London; emblematic poems on the beauty and often bizarre strangeness of the world of animals; quizzical responses to the strange, the heartening, and the appalling in incidents or accounts of incidents encountered in daily life; reflections on the purposes and costs of making art, as in fine poems on a George Stubbs painting, John Coltrane’s Ascension and cocaine, as well the injustices of the Grenfell Tower fire.

These are finely crafted poems, that reveal Roger Robinson’s capacity to tell involving stories and capture the essence of a character in a few words, to move the emotions with the force of verbal expression, and engage our thoughts, as in the sequence of poems that reflect on just what paradise might be. A Portable Paradise is a feast to be carried by lovers of poetry wherever they go.

A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson is published by Peepal Tree Press £9.99

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