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The cover of 'Goblin Lawn'

For his 'New and Selected Poems', Goblin Lawn, Peter Bennet has concentrated mostly on work written since 1999, including his two most ambitious poems, the historically rich and complex sequences, The Long Pack and Jigger Nods. The other three sections consist of shorter poems: twenty from his collection Ha-Ha, twenty from Noctua, and a final group of twenty-one new and uncollected poems gathered under the erudite subtitle Apokatastesis. Bennet is a perfectionist wordsmith who demands attentive reading.

Peter Bennet's world is richly and idiosyncratically imagined, a place where mysteries occupy strangely familiar landscapes, where folktale and proverb intersect with the contemporary, and where nothing is as secure or simple as it seems. The poems are full of telling detail and yet crisply economical, driven by an exact and surprising musicality. Bennet is an original: new readers have rich pleasures in store.

Sean O'Brien

An individual voice is present, unaffected, direct and conversational, but capable without the least sense of dislocation of rising to a note of restrained rhetorical power.

Vernon Scannell

These poems grow on you. They repay renewed and careful reading. Where they first seem obscure, they become intriguing; then rather haunting, glimpses of lives in a variety of strange circumstances and locations. They are very careful, even compressed; but the effect, as you read again, is of something — disquiet, regret, fear — being opened up.

David Constantine

There is humour, too, a wild gothicity as if damped down by Novocaine.

John Lucas

To buy this book:

Goblin Lawn costs £8.50 and was published in September 2005.
ISBN: 978-1-873226-77-3

Peter Bennet

Photo: Justine Lester

Peter Bennet lives in rural Northumberland near the Wild Hills o'Wanney, a strangely accoustical landscape which inspired the ballad-writer James Armstrong, and gave the young Kathleen Raine her first sense of another, more essential world.

He taught at five schools, including the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, and then worked in adult education for a number of institutions throughout the North East: Derwentside College, Newcastle University, Northumberland College, the Open University, and Sunderland University. Subsequently he spent sixteen years as Tutor Organiser for Northumberland with the Workers' Educational Association.

He was Associate Editor of Stand from 1995 to 1998, and is a co-editor of Other Poetry. He received a Poetry Book Society Recommendation in 2005 for Goblin Lawn and the Poetry Book Society Choice in 2008 for The Glass Swarm.

 


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