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From the publisher
’Throw it away, throw it away’: in Flight Risk, C. E. J. Simons uses lyric forms to explore the shocks and joys of middle age: past relationships, marriage, childbirth, fatherhood, and the consequences of a life devoted to poetry. ‘Uxor’ and ‘Prayer for My Son’ show domestic bliss flourishing in a world that also contains the power relations of ‘Haggard’ and the sexual exploitation of ’The Liberties, Kabukichō’. Half a dozen imitātiōnēs from poets ranging from Wyatt to Yeats show Simons coming to grips with the origins of his own voice. The book concludes with ‘Exclusion Zone’, a stunning four-part poem on Simons’s photojournalism work for the ten-year anniversary of the March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
C. E. J. Simons’ book is full of beginnings and endings, but it is what occurs in-between that really engages. A book that will make grown men – fathers especially – pause, and pause again. The voice rings true – and the skill is dazzling, effortless. But the heart beats too. – Peter Robert Dale
Flight Risk is a collection which, once again, showcases Simons’ hallmark strengths of linguistic curiosity, the eclectic experience of a well-travelled life and his dextrous use of form. Simons combines these in this new collection as the poet reflects on universal experience – of mature or not-so-mature love, on becoming a parent, on work – as he comes to the Dantesque crossroads of midlife. Watch out for the bear wandering in and out of this particular dark wood. – Claudia Daventry