Tim Wells, poet of the Stoke Newington Parish and all-round Man About Town tips his top poetry books for the aspiring bard, romantic and ne’er do wells in your life… :
Division Street by Helen Mort
Chatto & Windus Paperback, £12
Poems about the impact of the miner’s strike, ghosts, pubs and much more from one of the best working class voices in contemporary poemetry.
Chick by Hannah Lowe
Bloodaxe Books, £8.95
Moving poetry about her Jamaican-Chinese father’s gambling life, as much a look into her own history as at the London we all share.
Dear Boy by Emily Berry
Winner of the Forward Prize, a playful, imaginative and at times twisted turn from a young poet going places.
The Ninjas by Jane Yeh
Carcanet Press Ltd, £9.95
This collection has been taking the young people by storm, but don’t let that put you off. A sideways glance at pop culture with delightfully deadpan delivery.
The Secret History by Procopius
Salacious, smutty and sordid. A trusted member of the Byzantine establishment, Procopius was the Empire’s official chronicler, and his History of the Wars of Justinian proclaimed the strength and wisdom of the Emperor’s reign. Yet all the while the dutiful scribe was working on a very different – and dangerous – history to be published only once its author was safely in his grave. The Secret History portrays the ‘great lawgiver’ Justinian as a rampant king of corruption and tyranny, the Empress Theodora as a sorceress and whore, and the brilliant general Belisarius as the pliable dupe of his scheming wife Antonina. Magnificently hyperbolic and highly opinionated, The Secret History is a work of explosive energy, depicting holy Byzantium as a hell of murder and misrule.
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