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Dry Stone Work

by Brian Johnstone

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's poems establish their own presence, leaving room for mystery and lyricism to emerge with a convincing uniqueness. Dry Stone Work is a robust collection, packed with original strengths, delicacies, variety, and a vivid awareness of life.

Douglas Dunn

The use of language is authentic and precise, and the perception of an often-hidden world fascinating and genuine

David Morley, on 'The Ring Cycle' sequence of circus poems.

Brian Johnstone has now been included on the prestigious Poetry Archive website. His page can be found here:

978-1908376-05-3 (pbk) £9.99
978-1908376-06-0 (hbk) £12.99
Published June 2014

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