“A World Where” More reviews of one of my latest poetry collections

A world where words make conundrums. Words make a memory café of contradiction. Counterfactual worlds. Words dance into newness, strange and startling juxtapositions. Big is small. Age is youth. Love is murder. Poems precipitate friends into strangers. A choreography of definition, fractured into dialect. There are no maps, only words bear witness to dark and light, and grow more famouser in their glow… Paul Brookes kicks words until they crack and splinter, hard, hard and harderer…

-Andy Darlington, author of
Euroshima Mon Amour: Poems from the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits (2000)
A Saucerful of Secrets (2016)

Brookes poetry is true and unsettling, hands on the human heart, feeling the beat without flinching.  Every poem is a narrative that distills the moment while effortlessly recalling for the reader the necessary context of past and future, one instant in a visible stream of time. He is skilled at twisting the expected into the uncomfortable and allowing the reader to see that this spin was always the truth.  A masterful short book of poems that creates an entire world of voices.

Julie Carpenter , editor of Sacred Chickens.com

I enjoyed the collection immensely — the familiar turned on its head, the play of the language, the bone deep subjects he tackles. He uses language in a  wonderful way, at once intimate to the point of blood and challenging. No easy trick. A wonderful and unique voice here which he maintains throughout, even as the collection gathers its rhythms. “Birth is a Time for Grief” is a particular favorite, as is “We Wait for Sick Sunblaze To.”

Jeff Weddle, author of  “When Giraffes Flew”, and “Comes To This”.

I enjoyed the read very much!  The collection is well written and strong throughout, but some of my favourites were: Folk Are Born Tall, Bairns And Old Codgers, Delicious Concrete, My Strangers, Life Is Meant, You Must, and The Sunlight (my personal favourite of the collection.

Whether it is experiencing the past lives of his granddaughter or the interior design of a street person or imagining sweat as rain, Paul Brookes lets you peer into his life, but always at a distance.  His friends are strangers in a ravaged British landscape of crushed cans and sweet wrappers and bird skeletons.  Themes of otherness and disease and memory and loss permeate Brookes’ work.  The language is at once accessible and refreshing without ever falling prey to what is expected.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan (author of The Blue of Every Flame)  

“Words are not the dark, they bear witness to the dark” writes Paul Brookes in his poignant and alluring new collection of poems titled “A World Where.” The words Paul shares with us do indeed bear witness to the dark and are illuminating. The poems collected here are a vast assortment of many emotional plateaus. The poems are beautiful, gritty, humorous, tender and seductive in their abilities to grip a reader. This is sensory overload in all the right ways and I treasured being able to breathe it in.-

Dan Flore, author of “Lapping Water