Joyce James : Collected Poems (The Penguin poets)

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9780140422047: Joyce James : Collected Poems (The Penguin poets)

John James is one of the most highly respected poets of his generation. In this volume all his major works are gathered together from Mmm … Ah Yes (1967) to Schlegel Eats a Bagel (1996). In addition, a number of hard to obtain poems are also reprinted, including A Former Boiling (1979) and The Ghost of Jimi Hendrix at Stokesay Castle (1988).

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Review:

Impossibly romantic and optimistic, miraculously avoiding gloom and didacticism to achieve a continuously surprising and euphoric surface … related to … classic simplicity of line. (Andrew Duncan )

This is ‘out and about’ poetry, inhabiting Cambridge pubs and Eastern European streets, embracing non-sequiturs and apparently-random thoughts into the smooth thought-flow of event and image and speculation. There’s a libidinal energy which resists gloom (hatred of the meagre portion/even the bars are closed when we leave the cinema) and the occasional break into what could almost be song lyric. (Steve Spence Terrible work )

John James is an extremely enjoyable and charismatic poet. His work is like a vigorous breath of fresh air, full of variety, humour and surprise. It has a strong sense of lyricism and energy, a striking mixture of the experimental and the immediate that brings to mind the work of Mayakovsky or the New York poets of the 1950s and 60s. (Charles Bainbridge The Guardian )

About the Author:

John James was born 1939 in Cardiff and educated by the De La Salle Brothers at Saint Illtyd’s College there. He left in 1957 to read Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Bristol and later undertook postgraduate studies in American Literature at the University of Keele. He was a founder of The Resuscitator in Bristol in 1963 and Arts Council Creative Writing Fellow, University of Sussex, 1978–79. He is Head of Communication Studies at Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge.

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