On Purpose

Nick Laird
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ISBN 9780571237388 Format Paperback
Published 16/08/2007 Length 80 pages

About Book

Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize, and shortlisted for a number of other awards besides, To a Fault (2005) signalled the arrival of a significant new talent. On Purpose, Nick Laird's follow-up volume, confirms the promise of that first book, and shows the author hitting new and yet more athletic strides. Blending tones of assurance and delicacy, of confidence and vulnerability, On Purpose is a collection of poems that takes care and consideration in examining the often brutal arena of human relations.

Informed both by a sense of wit and by an undercurrent of melancholy, the book thoughtfully provokes concepts of happiness and sadness, of warring and reparation, of dissent and the abandonment of the religious for the secular. Frequently pivoting around familial relations, the volume concludes with a mercurial and affecting sequence about a marriage, which takes as its point of departure that most influential of military treatises, The Art of War.

  • About Nick Laird

    Nick Laird was born in 1975 in Co. Tyrone, and studied English at the University of Cambridge, where he won the Quiller-Couch Award for creative writing. His debut collection, To a Fault (2005), won the Aldeburgh Poetry Prize; his second, On Purpose (2007), the Somerset Maugham Award and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. He is the author of two novels and lives in London.

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