Cyclone Reviewed in London Grip

Cyclone has all the technical skill and emotional strength of a book written by a poet at the height of his abilities…”

-Adele Ward, London Grip

Poet and academic Adele Ward takes a critical eye to the form, themes, and emotional undercurrents of Cyclone in her latest review for London Grip.

She praises both its craft and handling of emotionally difficult subject matter, and even picks up on obscure references I feared would be all but lost on most readers (such as the Tasmanian devil cartoon and Judy Garland’s opioid exploitation).

It is heartening to encounter any reader so invested in undestanding the work, let alone one willing to set down their ideas so thoughtfully.

You can read the full review on the London Grip website.

Cyclone Reviewed by Rachel Carney

Rachel Carney of the Created to Read website gives a sensitive, perceptive read of Cyclone.

Peake’s style is varied, but all his work is playful and considered, full of irony and interwoven with imagery that reflects the turbulence and chaos of the natural world. Although the themes of grief and nature seem quite separate, Peake’s tone of voice  —  analytical, questioning, ironic  —  pervades the collection.

Rachel Carney

You can read the full review on the Created to Read website.

Cyclone one of The Spear’s Big Reads of 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, Cyclone finds itself in some remarkable company as part of The Spear’s Big Reads of 2018 list as a “standout book of the year”.

Deputy Editor Chris Jackson wrote, “Peake’s collection of poetry — his third — is a magnificent meditation on grief and its aftermath, all taking place within a climate change-conscious world where, as one poem says, ‘a threat to our way of life, is a threat to our life.”

As it happens, Cyclone is also currently available for a limited time at 50% off the cover price when ordered online directly from the publisher. So if you’re poetry-curious, or want a few additional copies to give as gifts, now is a great time to get your hands on the book Michael Symmons Roberts called “[my] most powerful work to date.”

Well, that’s quite enough tooting of one’s own horn for the year. Wishing you joyful holidays and a peaceful, poetry-filled start to 2019.

Two Poems, and a Review of The Knowledge, in Poetry Salzburg Review

psr28My copies of Poetry Salzburg Review 28 arrived today, with its signature surrealist cover holding nearly 200 pages of enticing poetry and reviews.

Among them are two new poems from me — “The Computer Programmer’s Wife”, to which I expect many a beleaguered techno-spouse might relate, and the off-kilter Anglophonic lament “Getting On With It”. I am also looking forward to mining out new nuggets from familiar names like Piotr Florcyzik, Kim Moore, and Rob A. Mackenzie.

The review of The Knowledge is a ringing endorsement (I had to sit down) from Ian Watson which concludes, “The problem with The Knowledge is that there are just too many striking images, too many poems to cite. Just go out and buy it.”

Along the way, he points out poems that take up topics that teachers will often advise beginning writers to steer clear from, such as common birds or writers’ block — and notes how these poems succeed, almost defiantly, anyway. He points out my preoccupation with fleeting detail, and calls the work, “erudite, urbane and at times intriguingly evasive.”

If you’re at all intrigued by any of this, you can order your copy of Poetry Salzburg Review 28 directly from their website, or better yet subscribe.

Letting the Robin out of the Bag

Robin Concrete PoemI have had poems coerced into handmade paper via letterpress printing techniques, laser printed on broadsides sheets, and even hung like advertisements in shop windows. I am really excited, though, to have a poem on a tote bag.

Not just any tote bag — a concrete interpretation of my poem “Robin”, beautifully designed by Jane Commane, on a classy natural canvas bag. It comes free with a subscription to the Nine Arches Poetry Book Club — itself an excellent idea that gets you six fine single-author poetry collections hot off the press, discounts on other books, and special invitations. Gift wrap available. Really, I hope they made enough bags!

I also like the idea that using this tote instead of a plastic bag might help a scruffy robin survive the long winter of our global mass-consumption.

As they say in the UK: “Bagsy!” And in my native California: “Totes amazeballs!” You get the idea. I’m exited.

Bag in splendour next to fine poetry books
Bag your six books

Quadrapheme Names The Knowledge a Book of the Month

quadraphemeEleanor Franzen, managing editor of Quadrapheme, has picked The Knowledge as one of their best books in April. Particularly notable is that it makes their cut alongside four accomplished prose writers. (Take that, cruelest month.)

Quadrapheme is a totally independent literature review site, which receives no funding from either publishers or  the British Arts Council, so ostensibly they say what they like (and don’t) as they please. Franzen notes the collection’s, “mindfulness of the human place within a network of relationships in the natural world, the consequences and responsibilities of agency.”

The whole site is crisp, smart, and well worth revisiting.