Thursday, 1 November 2012

Acapulco: New and Selected Poems by Nicholas Murray

Nicholas Murray was born in Liverpool and now lives in
Wales and London. He has written critically acclaimed
biographies of Bruce Chatwin, Matthew Arnold,
Andrew Marvell, Aldous Huxley, and Franz Kafka.
He has also published two novels, A Short Book about Love, and Remembering Carmen, and books on Victorian travellers, Liverpool and Bloomsbury. He runs the poetry imprint Rack Press and is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy.
Acapulco contains nearly thirty new poems and work
drawn from the earlier collections, Plausible Fictions and The Narrators. It concludes with the full text of Get Real!
a powerful verse satire on the coalition Government
which was performed by the Iris Theatre Company
at St Paul's Covent Garden in 2011.

Praise for Nicholas Murray's poetry:

From the opening lines of 'Landscapes' we are in the company of a voice that quietly but compellingly makes itself heard... Throughout these poems, shadows, absences,and possibilities stalk the tyranny of mere fact...”

David Wheatley, Thumbscrew

Precise and rather mysterious poems”

John Fuller

...his clear sense of internal rhythm and strong feeling for the well-honed phrase”

Sarah Crown, The Guardian

William Palmer's poems have appeared in many magazines but this is his first full-length collection. In 2006 it was awarded the Collection Prize at the Listowel Writers' Festival. A pamphlet of his work, An Instruction from Madame S, was published by Rack press in 2009.

He is the author of six novels, the most recent being The India House (Jonathan Cape, 2005). A new novel, The Devil is White, will be published by Cape early in 2013.

In 1997 he was awarded a Travelling Scholarship by the Society of Authors. Since 1998 he has taught creative writing at various institutions and has been a Writing Fellow at the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick, and King's College, London.

He reviews regularly for The Independent and Literary Review.

Praise for William Palmer's poetry

There is...a generosity of perception, language and melody (read him aloud), but he is also generous in his poems' precision and economy. William Palmer's poetry never excludes readers but it does challenge them at the same time as it charms them. he is one of our most interesting poets, and his work in The Island Rescue is a complete delight.

David Morley

Sunday, 16 September 2012

An exalted elsewhere

From John Greening's review of Acapulco in the TLS:

'There is often a single poem early in a collection that helps the reader find their way. In Acapulco by Nicholas Murray, it is "Bedroom", about a painting by Vilhelm Hammershoi: "How you anticipate/our love of the minimal...", it begins, concluding a few lines later:

          Your silence grows in us,
          expands like rising dough,
          until we reach the street
          and find ourselves, altered
          in an exalted elsewhere.

... in Murray's strongest work the effect is exactly as described in "Bedroom". The silence can be that of "Honfleur" - "amongst smiling gourmands/who do not know our secret"; the more spiritual regions of "Icon", the opening poem; or raw and malevolent - most vividly in a piece about an owl ("That cold accusing look!") accidentally smoked from its nest. "Owl" is Murray at full stretch.

(The full review can be read in the TLS of September 14th)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Acapulco is now in stock at the excellent London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL.