Oliver Dennis

Three New Collections

Love’s Bonfire


Faber & Faber 52pp £12.99 order from our bookshop



Jonathan Cape 69pp £10 order from our bookshop

The Dark Film


Picador 56pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

In an early poem, ‘Presbyterian Study’, Tom Paulin wrote admiringly of ‘choosing the free way,/Not the formal’. It is a mode that he has pursued in poetry for more than thirty years now and one that he brings to some kind of fruition in his delightful and unexpectedly poignant new volume, Love’s Bonfire. The contained and simmering aspects of Paulin’s early work seem here to have given way, finally, to something much more playful and sweet, although a bleak sort of piquancy remains. There is a likeable, boyish modesty about many of these poems, which at times recall the perceptive gabbling of a young child – tuneful and unbridled, though never shrill. As one poem has it, Love’s Bonfire offers readers ‘the honest truth/according to Tom’. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,