Cyclone is one eloquent burn.
-Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry
“Cyclone takes the strengths of Robert Peake’s previous work — candour, intensity, a hard-won wit — and enters the storm, in search of an answer to the question raised by his heartbreaking ‘Why I Should Be Over It By Now’. Built around four remarkable sequences, this new collection takes him into the most difficult of territories — grief and parental loss — to recover the possibility, however fugitive, of healing. The ‘Cyclone’ here is both personal and political. In such turbulent and shrill times, this is his most powerful work to date.”
-Michael Symmons Roberts, author of Drysalter, winner of the Forward Prize
Robert Peake’s second full-length collection of poems urges us to find shelter as a storm is gathering and the forces of destruction threaten to rip through anything in their path. These are matters of life or death, and Cyclone urges us to consider what the ill wind may bring, and how we will survive it.
“Homesickness, belonging, and travelling without arriving are just some of the terrain covered in Peakes Cyclone, but it’s the vitality and emotional courage in the language of these poems that one is most struck by — language stepping in and out of the shadows and yearning ‘in the silt-choked afterlife of someone’s grief.’ A beautiful book that deserves to be lingered over and read widely.”
-Mona Arshi, author of Small Hands, winner of the Forward Prize for best first collection
Peake’s poetry is acutely tuned, bringing eloquence and urgency to matters of profound devastation. With shattering delicacy, he writes of personal loss, of grief and the long aftermath; “whenever the wind sprays into my face, I taste salt of your absence”. These poems also hazard an eye at the global weather and find a world in turmoil, wild with unreliable news and terrible forecasts.
“Relentless and gorgeous, Cyclone is where poems of awe and of mourning the infinite
‘cognates of grief’ converge, bless and roar. In its searching for ‘What Will Survive Us,’
Robert Peake’s second collection is as tender as it is overwhelming, as intimate as it is
expansive. He asks ‘What becomes of longing / when the fire goes out?’ ‘Has there
ever been such a thing as progress?’ ‘How much do you need?’ and answers with
aftermaths, the ‘wild dance…between the gathering clouds and ionised land,’ a braving
of history and memory and home. I am deeply thankful for this book — its guts, its grace.”
-R.A. Villanueva, author of Reliquaria, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize
Praise for The Knowledge (2015)
“The Knowledge is quirky, wide-ranging, luminous and completely enthralling. If there were an A — Z of all the places poetry should take us, this would be it.”
— John Glenday, Author of Grain (shortlisted, Griffin Prize)
“Robert Peake’s The Knowledge (Nine Arches Press) is a subtle, tender collection whose mixture of narrative and descriptive images inexorably draws the reader on to (occasionally painful) revelation.”
-Bethany W Pope, Sabotage Reviews
Praise for The Silence Teacher (2013)
“The Silence Teacher is entirely remarkable for its dignity, its beauty, its many strengths of word and of witness. Robert Peake’s lines and images polish the hardest of grief-stones until it gleams, until it becomes almost bearable to hold. Here is poetry’s task and gift to us — untransformable loss made malleable and sustaining by the ways it is met, said, and seen.”
— Jane Hirshfield, Chancellor, Academy of American Poets
“If all poetry is essentially about love and loss then there is little need to read beyond Robert Peake’s beautiful and heart-breaking pamphlet, The Silence Teacher … These highly-crafted, long-considered poems have so much emotional resonance, from a father who will not teach his son hello, whose son ‘came in waving goodbye’.”
— Paul Stephenson, The North
Date: 19th July 2018
Format: Paperback, 72 pp.