A grounded yet playful collection from an assured poet, flexing his muscles into newer territory. As well as the deep lineage of rural landscapes that populated previous collections, here Johnstone treats us to an extended trip to the circus, where the glitz and thrill of the big top and its stunts are peeled back to allow us into the physical and emotional rigour that forms the show's framework. Elsewhere poems transport you more literally through music, movie and TV history, around Europe and into the distant past, again balancing between illusion and the tension that supports it in the more mundane real world. And throughout, the tone and language also plays an ingenious balancing act between the structured, the rhyming and the informal. This is a personal and expansive collection, honest and exploratory.
Brian Johnstone has now been included on the prestigious Poetry Archive website. His page can be found here: poetryarchive.org/poet/brian-johnstone
978-1908376-05-3 (pbk) £9.99
978-1908376-06-0 (hbk) £12.99
Published June 2014