Recent Publications

“School Trip” Read by Phil Abrams (Video)

The Public Poetry Series, sponsored by Fjords Review, aims to foster a person-to-person experience of poetry through video. The actor Phil Abrams has done a remarkable job reading my poem “School Trip” to camera. He seems to feel and then say, unfolding his nuanced emotional range line-by-line in extreme close-up, embodying a kind of haggard, […]

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The Space it Might Take

I am pleased to have four poems, including the eponymous poem from my forthcoming collection The Knowledge in The Space it Might Take, the 26th biennial anthology of the Highgate Poets. It is a pleasure to see these poems beside some of the strongest work over the last two years from each member of this […]

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Five Reviews in Poetry Salzburg Review 26

My reviews of five poetry collections appear in the current issue of Poetry Salzburg Review. Each poet, and collection, could not be more different from the next. American poet Maureen Alsop’s Mantic is a bewitching book of divinations; Irish poet Gene Barry’s Unfinished Business is a humanistic raconteur’s parade; Midlands English poet Helen Calcutt layers […]

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Currently Reading

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Current Thoughts

What Can Computers Teach Us About Poetry?

The idea that analysing poetry with computers could teach us anything about the art is controversial. A recent survey I conducted of more than 300 tech-savvy poets confirmed that — while they generally agree that technology has been good for poetry in terms of fostering community, creating networking opportunities, and providing remote learning — they would rather computer scientists […]

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Unconscious Preoccupations, Machine Revelations

Turnabout is fair play. Having analysed several thousand poems from Poetry magazine, I have decided to turn the same methodology on myself. I analysed 5,751 words from the 79 poems from my current pamphlet The Silence Teacher and my forthcoming collection The Knowledge. Here are my top twenty-five most commonly-used words: air (27) light (26) […]

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No Such Thing as Bad Words

“The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is in the Dose” -Circa Survive (song title) In response to my recent analysis of the frequency of words used in past issues of Poetry magazine, current editor Don Share issued me a good-humoured challenge: @PeakePoetics Um, not anymore, I'll wager. Try it with issues published since I became […]

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Top “Poetry Words”

Having counted the occurrence of words in nearly 3,000 poems published in Poetry Magazine to create a parameterised random word generator, I am making some other interesting discoveries about these words. First, as one Twitter user pointed out, the words that come up at each “frequency of occurrence” setting on the generator have their own […]

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Reviews

"These highly-crafted, long-considered poems have so much emotional resonance..."

-The North



"In consistently even, deeply muted tones, The Silence Teacher is a self-contained world ... an uneasy, affecting and unforgettable collection."

-Magma



"After reading The Silence Teacher, I have a more emotional stake in living, and in loving. A haunting collection."

-Sabotage Reviews

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