“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
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.
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.
Manifesting between the storms is the man with the kindest face. Is he here to save us or warn us? A guide or a harbinger? As these brilliantly-visioned poems suggest, nothing is certain in the eye of the storm. Nevertheless, there is some form of consolation and rescue: “He seems at home in this tempest. He seems happy”.
Available July 2018.
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: 24th July 2018
Format: Paperback, 80 pp.