The Old Outlaw

The Old Outlaw

By Fred Beake

Price: £9.00

ISBN: 978 1 907356 27 8

The heart of Fred Beake’s sixth collection The Old Outlaw lies in the series of dramatic monologues, ‘Gesta Britannorum’, which begins in legendary time and passes by way of characters as different as Brut, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Winston Churchill to the end of the Second World War.

‘Gesta Britannorum’ is framed by a substantial section dealing with a Yorkshire country childhood in the 50’s and 60’s and another that deals with contemporary matters (both personal and political).

“… the achievement … is unique and complex, constantly evading simple classification, and this is achieved not through its trying to be this way but by virtue of its keeping to its heartfelt and intellectual passion.” — Jon Silkin

“Fred Beake is to be praised for finding in the resources of childhood routes to a rich and ample expression of thoughts which (even if they make little sense to him on his ‘reasonable days’) are clearly a source of inspiration and joy.” — John Torrance, Tears on the Fence

“Beake is very much his own poet, formed from his own diverse influences and rather an example for…new writers…He is a principled figure, who thinks every element of the craft through, abhorring recieved opinion.” — Harriet Tarlo, Poetry Salzburg Review 11