Selected Poems of Mick Imlah
Mick Imlah’s second and long-awaited collection
The Lost Leader
was published to acclaim in 2008, shortly before his early death in January 2009. It
revealed a poet of dazzling virtuosity, eloquence and subtlety - breaking through, as Imlah said of Edwin Muir (whose poems he edited in his last year) ‘to a field of unforced imaginative fluency and an unexpected common cause’. Behind its accomplishment lay the multifarious atmospheres, nefarious personae and mordant storytelling of Imlah’s earlier poetry. Edited by Mark Ford and with an essay by Alan Hollinghurst, the
connects the work of three decades, drawing upon Imlah’s earlier full-length collection,
(1988), as well as including uncollected poems and previously unpublished work.
‘Most of these poems tell stories - tall ones, true ones, baffling ones, moving ones. Each yields up its intricate secrets with the most delicate timing and poise, constantly outwitting cliché, brilliantly sidestepping our expectations.’ Mark Ford, Financial Times ‘
'For all its dazzling allusiveness there is nothing like it. The technique is breathtaking, the wit dark and complex, the emotional effects keen, subtle and disconcerting. To say that ‘The Lost Leader’ itself is a great poem is not to slight the other sixty masterpieces in this unmissable book.’ Alan Hollinghurst, Guardian
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