Selected & New Poems
This substantial book features poems from the five decades of John Powell Ward’s career. It opens with early, uncollected pieces – some of which were experimental and concrete – moves on to the traditionally styled poems of the 70s and 80s and then towards a late flowering in the 90s, which features a startling shift in style and a new focus on letters and the alphabet.
His wider concerns: history, the human peril to the natural world, tragic public events (such as the King’s Cross Fire), are played out across a formal grid of beautiful complexity. These strikingly original, ambitious poems are both profoundly moving and technically adroit. This volume offers the reader a wide selection from the author’s six published books, along with several new poems.
‘In no other time but our own, perhaps, would a poet feel obliged to wrap up his moralizing in such delicate phraseology, or make such a backdoor affair of his faith. Ward, however, manages brilliantly, combining an uncompromising integrity with a contemporary flair for understatement... One is left with the impression of having been told the truth cleanly and with warmth.’
– The Times Literary Supplement
‘A major contribution to late twentieth century poetry. ‘
– Bulletin of the Welsh Academy