With his exuberant and otherworldly poems, Roddy Lumsden has quickly established himself among Britain’s leading younger poets. In this his third book, the filmic tour de force of the title sequence, by turns comic, tragic and fantastic, follows the twists in a maze of madness, love and self-deception, from Edinburgh to Stoke Newington via the Philippines. The collection’s second half brings together new work with some favourite pieces which show why Lumsden is such a popular reader on both the literary and performance circuits.
Roddy Lumsden’s poems eavesdrop on a half urban, half surreal world of ladies’ men and misfits, trying on roles and acting out fantasies. His second collection The Book of Love is a celebration of love in all its delightful perversity, whose characters include a randy actor, a vinegar addict and couples courting in the filing cupboard and covered with marmalade. As voyeurs sneak into one poem, naturists streak across another and there is the inevitable lurking presence of the poet’s own (rich but square) alter ago. These snappy, witty poems leave tantalising echoes and reverberations that make you want to read them again and again. Now out of print in this edition, most of the poems were included in Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems (2004).
Roddy Lumsden’s first collection Yeah Yeah Yeah is a large and varied debut collection which uses the lives of lovers and losers, eavesdroppers and entertainers to explore romance, faith and last orders at the bar. The poems are formal but with a frantic edge; they are lyrical, but laced with a cruel streak and a measured dose of indulgence. Roddy Lumsden is concerned with how relationships shift and twist and restore an order, with how people meet and part. The poems range over weddings, revenge and phobias, beer, girls and the need `to get these answers right’. Yeah Yeah Yeah was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Now out of print, most of the poems in the book are included in Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems (2004).