In these affecting, graceful poems, Anthony Wilson takes time to reflect on a life: ‘We cannot grasp what we have been given, or can give back’ and so offers his reader an essential book of (re)discovery, encounter and a true value of the present.
Anthony Wilson’s poems are often meditative and always very, very readable, but don’t be fooled; the avuncular voice belies a restless interrogation of faith, love and loss, and Wilson moves from moments of everyday comedy to a wounded reckoning with the afterlife of cancer survival and poems of intense anger and grief.
Each poem is a small marvel on grave themes.
The Poetry Book Society Autumn Bulletin, 2012, on Riddance (Worple Press, 2012)
Riddance deserves to be in every oncologist’s waiting room and given to every cancer patient’s family because it tells us how it actually feels to be treated for cancer, and it resists the ‘othering’ of cancer patients.
Judi Sutherland, on Riddance, the Dr Fulminare blog
A tone of domestic awareness which never drifts into the mawkish, a quiet register of the relationship between humans and time. Wilson understands the fact that ‘objects contain absent people’.
Ian Brinton, The Use of English, on Full Stretch (Worple Press, 2006)
In both style and content a mix of casual and formal. All the poems feel genuinely personal. Anthony Wilson’s poetry has an easy-going surface but a thoughtful interior.
Paul Munden, The North, on Nowhere Better Than This (Worple Press, 2002)
Anthony Wilson’s acute and astute observations are witty, humorous and often poignant. He looks at what it means to occupy various roles as son, brother, father, husband, teacher —and the best of these poems create a finely balanced tension, tantalizing, resonant.
Catherine Smith, The Frogmore Papers, on Nowhere Better Than This
Shaped by wit and compassion, Anthony Wilson’s work creates a more rounded picture of a full life than most poetry dreams of.
Mark Robinson, Scratch, on How Far From Here is Home? (Stride Publications, 1996)
Economical, witty and observant. An habitual and natural delicacy covers the more primitive emotions that thrive beneath the Carver-like surface.
Marita Over, Ambit, on How Far From Here is Home?
Wilson’s selections emphasise the importance of mindful awareness, regardless of one’s personal journey. Regardless of your own unique story and life lessons, Lifesaving Poems offers an avenue to mend the intrinsic brokenness of the human experience. For Wilson, reading poetry continues to be “like falling in love”. Lifesaving Poems can help you fall in love over and over again—and save your life too, one stanza at a time, line by line.
Allison Gonsalves, on Lifesaving Poems, The Lancet Psychiatry
This is a wonderful book of enthusiasms, intimacies and epiphanies and an unusual merging of a traditional poetry anthology with a compilation of blog posts…It is a given, or should be, that readers of Writing in Education are convinced of the power of literature to uplift, but if we should ever need reminding, this is the book that will do so.
Victoria Field, on Lifesaving Poems, Writing in Education
Deck Shoes is a book of influences and enthusiasms about poetry and the writing life, in which everyday objects and experiences —pencils, a notebook, going for a swim— sit alongside meditations on illness and ageing mortality. In these short, lyrical essays Anthony Wilson honours the debt of gratitude he feels to poets, writers and artists who have made their mark on his imagination. Through them a wry and complex portrait unfolds of the different roles a poet plays, from performer to friend, father to academic.
Takes you through the roller coaster ride of cancer, in every detail.
James Landale, The World at One, on Love for Now (Impress Books, 2012)
Poetry and Education
Packed with energy and ideas, this engaging book is a must-have for poetry teachers across the age phases. Accessible workshop activities for the classroom show how to bring poetry alive on the tongue, in the mind and the body. Pleasure and play rub shoulders with attention to language, interpretation and meaning, and conspire to inspire. A book to read, use and enjoy.
Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education, The Open University, on Making Poetry Happen (Bloomsbury, 2015)
This rich and invigorating book provides a much-needed argument for the place of poetry in 21st century English curriculum, and a grounded and practical resource for reading, teaching, writing, analysing, performing and making poetry. Bringing together academics, practising poets and classroom teachers, it offers a set of nuanced and wide ranging reflections on the pragmatics and possibilities of teaching poetry and timely and sensitive instances of good pedagogy and responsive teaching in current times.
Catherine Beavis, Professor of Education, Griffith University, Australia, on Making Poetry Happen (Bloomsbury, 2013)
An inspired compilation
Times Educational Supplement, on The Poetry Book for Primary Schools (The Poetry Society, 1998)
Makes for inspiring reading and gives a clearer definition of the world of creativity, while also offering coherent maps to navigate it.
Huw Thomas, Times Educational Supplement, on Creativity in Primary Education (2005, 2009, 2015)
Exeter Leukaemia Fund (2007)
The Year of Drinking Water is an inspiring collection of poems occasioned by perhaps that least wanted of muses, cancer.
Todd Swift, Poetry London, on The Year of Drinking Water
The Aldeburgh Poetry Trust (1999)
Reads as if written for an audience. Clear, compassionate, thoughtful and relaxed…an attractive an engaging voice.
Ross Cogan, Orbis, on The Difference