In this startling and energetic first collection, Ben Parker explores real and imagined territories and reports back in poems that are both darkly funny and vividly descriptive. Combing concision with a surreal lyricism, the worlds of The Amazing Lost Man are at once strange and familiar, while the central sequence of ‘Insomnia Postcards’ is a joyous clash of the quotidian and the bizarre. These poems have a subtle music, and a confident voice that draws the reader in.
Ben Parker’s debut pamphlet, The Escape Artists, was published by Tall-Lighthouse in 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013 Michael Marks Award. He spent a year as Poet-in-Residence at The Museum of Royal Worcester, and in 2016 was Poet-in-Residence at The Swan Theatre, Worcester. He is poetry editor of Critical Survey.
There is a simplicity to these poems, yet they are never simple. There is an erudition to them as well, but without the intellectual showiness that often comes with that. Parker performs his aesthetic and conceptual tightrope walk with impressive balance, even stopping along the way, here and there, to take a casual bow.
— OKLA ELLIOTT