Underwood, Jack

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    The poems mature and move on to a wide range of preoccupations, including imminent societal collapse and current riots; the limits of masculinity and complexities of fatherhood; as well as uncanny, often amusing scenarios, such as serving drinks to a gathering of fifteen babies or group kissing in Empathy Class. Throughout, incongruous and domestic subjects re-align in skewed lyrics and thought experiments, all presented with a generosity and tenderness that makes the poet so unmistakable – and indispensable for the strange times in which we live.

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    With the sort of smart, persuasive voice associated with Simon Armitage and Michael Donaghy, these poems worry at the world in search of consolation, or else meet life’s absurdity and strangeness half-way; whether sitting proudly atop an unexploded bomb, or injecting blood under the skin of a banana, playfulness and imagination are vehicles for confronting ‘the fearful and forgotten things I’ve lied to myself about’. Here are poems which address anxiety about fatherhood, remorse for lost lovers and friends, or mourn for a miscarried sibling.