Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Critics' Comments

Munayem Mayenin, New Hope International

"...flawlessly performed and hugely enjoyed by the audience, many of whom felt they had been exposed to a piece of verse of classical quality" -
Xochitl Tuck, Poetry Express
"...an ambitious dream-like play" - The Guardian, Review
"...a beautifully clever, druggist parody of 'Under Milk Wood"- Colin Hambrook, Dada South

"highly entertaining and meaningful" - Anne Rouse (Bloodaxe)

on Clocking-in for the Witching Hour:
“A tour-de-force. The textual style is a marvel. It reminds me of the textual originality of Mallarme’s final collection ‘Coup de Des’. Wonderfully absorbing and hugely talented work” – Barry Tebb, Sixties Press

“I was amazed at Morrison's ability to sustain this portrayal of a man trying. With his beautifully sated descriptions, Morrison slips from the homely to the erudite to the religio-political. Morrison's textual style is also notable, for he makes ample use of formatted theatrical asides … which Morrison deploys with marvellous skill throughout. It is a testament to Morrison's skill with poetic narrative and his precise management of tone that the reader is sympathetically and fascinatingly drawn in” – Stephanie Smith-Browne, New Hope International

“To Barry Tebb the poem is a tour de force that reminds him of Mallarmé. I am more inclined to think of Wilfred Owen. When he broke free of a religiose background of faded gentility, he found his true voice. This poem may yet come to be seen as a step in a similar direction, for it leaves little doubt about Alan Morrison’s own potential” – Martin Blyth, South, Issue 30

“Formally inventive, with a style, laid out in two columns, like dialectical Marxism… The whole is a very contemporary example of post-modern life writing, using, like Jackie Kay in her Adoption Papers, different voices and inputs to explore a variety of angles on the subject. The tag-team blocks of text, the sections of dialogue, relay race each other and create a great energy and forward impetus. One is reminded that Morrison’s talent is essentially a dramatic one” – Graham High, Poetry Express

“I constantly find it pleasurably surprising” –
Pete Morgan, poet
“A lyrical and polemical poet with a gift at narrative poetry and, ironically, epigrams. No one writes like this nowadays” – Dr Simon Jenner, Eratica
"…quite extraordinary; on a par with MacNiece’s ‘Autumn Journal’"-
David Kessel, poet

on Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever:
“…an astonishing sequence in fourteen composite parts, takes on the put-down phrase “confessional poetry” up front, by subtitling the poem ‘Confessions of an Absentee’. What follows in this densely packed but clear and cogent poetry, is a first person outpouring of someone suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in which the medium is also the message. Morrison may be subject to OCD himself but the poetry…is not at all an uncontrolled splurge, and the considerable skills required to construct, pace and sequence a sixty eight page poem are everywhere in evidence. …the assurance and energy of thought and the variety of imagery commands one’s interest throughout” – Graham High, Poetry Express

“Vivid in the immediacy of its description and very moving” –
John Welch, The Many Press

on Giving Light:
“Outstanding – books beautifully produced aren’t normally matched by the contents, but this is. One of the finest books I've seen in a long, long time. Alan has a voice entirely his own. Stanza 4 of 'Last of the Spray Carnations' is worthy of Pound. 'Tears of mustard sun' - I wish I'd written that! The shorter poems too are excellent - wise, witty and full of feeling. 'The Cottage' is marvellous. At 63 when I read his work I feel there's hope for poetry still.” – Barry Tebb, Sixties Press

“Some of the shorter poems seem to search for the self-referencing wisdoms of an isolated mind and remind one of the aphorisms of William Blake. All the poems strike sparks” –
Graham High, Poetry Express

“…the strangely haunting perspectives of ‘Last of the Spray Carnations’, the marvellous cynical whimsy of ‘The Cottage’; ‘The House of Sadness Past’; ‘The Sound of Eating’; ‘A Hamper from Landrake’ – terrific…a real poet” –
K.M. Newmann, Summer Palace Press

"...the four-liners have a Blakean feeling pulsating right the way through them. Every word counts. The poems, in their quirkiness, also remind me of Stevie” John Horder
“The booklet resonates with poems about the everyday meaning of being alive. ...Morrison is able to dip into the profound” - Doreen King, New Hope International
"There is something in this poetry for all of us" -
Xelis de Toro, author of The Corona Boats

in general:

on The Mansion Gardens

"...superb – 'Martin Goth' has me in tears every time - it is so powerful; 'Deaths Breathtaking View' - brilliant! 'The Luxury of Despair', ‘Five Minute Infinity’… so many that I can relate to, enjoy, appreciate - I just read it and nod to myself! I keep talking to everyone about The Mansion Gardens - it is by a mile the best poetry collection I have ever read" – Sally Richards, poet

"Outstanding! I really enjoy the depth and passion of this poetry. I love the anarchy in his poetry and the well drawn characters. Excellent, excellent book" –

"I had to stop going back over things, give myself a stern talking-to about savouring and turn out the light... so many fine things. I shall be coming back to it for a proper wallow at the first opportunity" – David Savoury, FRSL

"From this book, and from what I remember of your previous collections, I do become aware of Morrison's definite personal voice, his own unique verbal DNA. This seems true even when, in snatches, I am reminded of Dylan Thomas, especially of his Under Milk Wood. Morrison is on the whole, probably at his best in autobiographical vein. ...plenty of very good touches throughout the book (e.g., in 'Dole and Genealogy', 'A Summer Night's Travels' and stanza 8 in 'The House of Sadness Past') as well as in 'Forgive-Me-Not'; 'Nostalgia'; 'The China Kingfisher'; 'My Life in the Shade'; 'The House of Sadness Past'; 'The Guilty Building'; 'A Photo of Vaughan Williams'; 'Beatitudes'; 'At Least Tomorrow's Wednesday'; 'Rats, Cats and Kings'; 'A Mighty Absence'. I am tempted to add 'Keir Hardie Street' for its strong imaginative narrative and its venture into a world of Blakeian optimism, bringing his vision of Jerusalem into the present day. This poem reminds me of Blake's impressive watercolour Jacob's Dream (1805). But for me the best poem in the book is undoubtedly 'My Life in the Shade'. It presents, poignantly and without frills, the quintessential Alan Morrison. Its brilliant beginning is sustained throughout the whole. It makes telling and meaningful use of an excellent refrain, a success not often encountered these days. In this poem Morrison has come to sharply-focused grips with himself without any striving for effect, telling it like he truly feel it is. To my mind this poem deserves to be in every anthology of 21st Century verse in English. – Norman Buller, poet

in general

“A poet of enormous potential” – Sophie Hannah

"A real deftness of touch ... a lovely tone" - Anne Rouse (Bloodaxe)

“Alan – who powerfully recalls a near namesake, Alun Lewis – can unflinchingly put bread and politics across in that order, urgently. His intensively compressed imagism, and generosity, strike at a wracked claustrophobia, creating something no-one else has done, or dares to do at present” – Dr Simon Jenner, Eratica

“A distinctive voice” – Nicholas Bielby, Pennine Platform

“A remarkable poetic talent” – Strother Jeremson, New England Gazette

“…four books, by a remarkably ambitious and prolific young writer, between them indicate the wide range of Alan Morrison’s writing so far, as well as the promise they hold for future achievement. Both single, book-length poem sequences reward the reader well with their breathless forward impetus, the sparkle of the kaleidoscopic imagery, and the constantly moving agility of form and thought” – Graham High, Poetry Express

“Powerful emotion encapsulated in silken word purses” –
Ewan McConnachane, New Catholic
"...they are all heartstopping" -
Paula Brown, The People's Poet

"I love (this) work although it's a bit frightening" -

Nick Clark, Poetic Hours

“Alan Morrison is a new but electric voice on the British poetry scene. Morrison has a ‘voice’ (“All that poets can have”, as Auden said). The books are beautifully typeset and printed, a joy to handle and a fascination to read. Morrison is a hope for English poetry where hope is in short supply” – Barry Tebb, Sixties Press


Post a Comment

<< Home