Peter Scupham

Dancing in the Dark

I Knew the Bride

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Faber & Faber 80pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

All One Breath

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Jonathan Cape 96pp £10 order from our bookshop

Orphan Hours

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W W Norton 112pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

These three collections command admiration. Each poet concerns himself with first and last things and shows how we must link ourselves in chorus with other lives in our short patch of chequered light and shade; each has a style that is conversational, plain-spoken, but rich in content.

Hugo Williams is a funambulist, a conjuror, a smoke-and-mirrors trickster. He takes the most decisive of human experiences, the death of the loved and the knowledge of one’s own mortality, then dances the pressing dark away with a deft, wildly entertaining elegance. This is the Hugo who knows all about the show going on, and who, as an Eton fag in ‘A Boy Call’, untwists the note a member of Pop has given him to pass on, and reads:

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