John’s Books of the Year 2023
Selected by John Clegg
There were so many incredible books this year. I’ve stuck to poetry: my favourite collection of 2023 was Andrew Wynn Owen’s Infinite in Finite for its combination of technical adeptness and emotional heft. It is a joy.
I also loved Declan Ryan’s debut collection and Maggie Wang’s debut pamphlet, both distinguished by economy of words and eye for compelling detail. Hannah Sullivan’s Was it for this somehow managed to be an advance on her T.S. Eliot-prizewinning Three Poems (and its long poem about the Grenfell tragedy, ‘Tenants’, was my single favourite poem I read in 2023). Abigail Perry continues to write about anything she turns her eye on with cheerily nonchalant sprezzatura; Judy Brown’s third collection is intricate and tautly-woven. And Rebecca Goss and Emily Hasler are writing some of the best poetry of place going at the moment, about Suffolk and Essex respectively – all of these collections (and many others) come strongly recommended.
From the publisher:
Infinite in Finite develops the inimitable style of The Multiverse, the author's first collection (2018), praised as showing 'some of the best technical skills of any living poet', the work of 'one who is not afraid of big subjects, whose…