Author(s): John Newton
'The Romantic inheritance may be poison, but it seems to be all we have. When I first began writing I didn't look at it this way, which made being a poet, and writing poetry, easier. Ever since that time I have been trying to teach myself how to write again. This has felt mostly like a kind of beachcombing, fossicking beyond the high-tide mark of expressivism, never entirely giving up hope of discovering something that might still be useable. While the bulk of these poems were written recently, a few of them go back twenty-five years; but all are part of this search for new terms of engagement with a language of longing and excitability.' John Newton's debut volume Tales from the Angler's Eldorado came out in 1985, and his work is represented in most of the major anthologies to have appeared since that time. Lives of the Poets is the long-awaited follow-up. In poems that range from lyric to satire, and from formalist set-pieces to extended verse narrative, this book charts a journey through the backblocks of Romanticism and through fractured contemporary landscapes of writing and feeling.