Once in a while, a poetry book comes along that you finish, put down, think about something and then pick it up to start again. This was the case I had having quickly devoured the outstanding collection Father, Tell Me I Have Not Aged by Russell Thorburn.
The poems in this collection speak candidly of childhood memories, quickly setting the tone for what will follow with the opening poem Jazz - "I watch gray hair curl in the sink/as if this were surgery,/but I am only growing old, like a fat Mingus/who fires all the musicians in his band one night." The book goes on to reveal through hindsight a picture of the poet's parents, darting between past and present, comparisons rich and welcome. What I love about this book is Thorburn's command of the language he is using; the bold titles he hooks the reader with, such as Moonlight Spills crazy upon you, teacher of these inmates and the darkly clever I could be the victim full of face and a camera angle. I will keep this short, but finish by highly recommending this book for poets - it is a beautiful workshop on how to write well. Click here for more information.
"Like a love letter to the world on the eve of its destruction" Stephen Murray
"These dynamic and surprising poems challenge and delight at every turn. No survival kit is complete without a little grace like this." Brendan Constantine