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Jamie McKendrick

‘A coolly marshalled, worldly intelligence seems to be able to take on any subject from the quotidian to the arcane. The language is alert to contemporary nuance and opulently, exhilaratingly multi-layered.’ William Boyd

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Jamie McKendrick’s Drypoint depicts the turbulent present with incisive detail while often taking us back to an equally conflictual Biblical or classical world. Acute and stoical in tone, these poems transport us by bus or ferry or ghostly Rolls Royce to the cobbled streets of Ferrara, the once-Greek port of Smyrna, the bombed acres of Liverpool and Mariupol, and to places not to be found on any map, places where ‘North was south, being lost like this’.

Like his ‘immigrant muntjac’ the poet disregards walls and fences and breaks through ‘the borders of our ruled enclosures’. The presence of translations from poets ancient and modern is another example of the way space and time are here collapsed and reconfigured in a language rich with associations, historical and vernacular.


Jamie McKendrick was born in Liverpool in 1955. He is author of seven collections of poetry and has won the Forward Prize for Best Collection (The Marble Fly, 1997), the Hawthornden Prize (Out There, 2012) and the Cholmondeley Award (2019). He has been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award. His translations…

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