By Brian Jones (edited and introduction by Paul McLoughlin)
ISBN: 978 1 907356 78 0
Brian Jones (1938–2009) published four collections with Alan Ross’s London Magazine Editions, a pamphlet for Tony Ward’s Arc Publications, a collection of verse for children with Chatto & Windus, and three collections with Michael Schmidt’s Carcanet Press. Where the reputations of Geoffrey Hill, Tony Harrison and Douglas Dunn thrived, Jones rather slipped from view, partly through the unease which is a persistent feature of his work. His is a secular voice that deserves comparison with the best of British poetry since the nineteen sixties. This New & Selected Poems is a welcome re-presentation in selection of work that has long been out of print.
“Jones believes that poetry need not surrender to fiction all the stories that need telling, but his poems retain the tightness of verse and the authority of good cadences. There is as much truth to surface detail in his work as in any recent novel, with a good deal of eloquence added.” – Peter Porter
“It is his concern with truth-telling that unifies Brian Jones’s work and gives The Island Normal its strength, a poetry austere without coldness and colloquial without slackness. Why is he so little known, so rarely discussed?” – Grevel Lindop
“[Jones’s] leveller-like anger at England’s waste of human potential arises from a deep love of his inheritance and a real fear for its future. [He has] provided us with fine poems and a continuous thirty-year commentary from the backroom of the
dispossessed.” – Peter Bland