Skip to content

** Summer Book Box due out in June. Members get 25% off Books **

Nayler & Folly Wood: New and Selected Poems by Peter Bennett
PBS SPECIAL COMMENDATION SPRING 2023

Regular price £14.99

Unit price per 

only 0 left in stock

Please note: Individual book orders to Europe are shipped DDU (Delivery Duties Unpaid) and customers in the EU may have to pay local import VAT and customs duties in the receiving country. This doesn't apply to quarterly member mailings.

In Peter Bennet’s poetry nothing is what it seems to be. Modern spaces are haunted by the past and the unreal. We cannot tell the encroacher from the encroached. Discontinuities in time and space and playful short-circuitings produce exhilarating shivers. Bennet is an astute observer of people, places, and things, however, and we find ourselves surprisingly at home on this border between plausible narrative and the wilder territories of the imagination.

This comprehensive selection reflects Bennet’s full range for the first time, and begins with poems from the early 1980s, when he arrived in Jon Silkin’s Stand at the no longer young age of forty. It draws on seven collections published since then and includes his major sequences: The Long Pack, Jigger Nods, Folly Wood, Bobby Bendick’s Ride, Landscape with Psyche and Ladderedge and Cotislea. New work introduced here centres on another major and powerfully imagined sequence, a colloquy which bridges three centuries to evoke the voice of the Quaker James Nayler, who was abominably punished for ‘horrid blasphemy’. The book concludes with a substantial group of recent poems.

‘Peter Bennet considers the moments of interaction between past and present, fairytale and fact, using folklore’s staples to cast light on contemporary concerns. His watchful, thicketed landscapes, the stateliness of his language, all fit themselves perfectly to winter. This is fireside poetry.’ – Sarah Crown, The Guardian

‘Bennet often tips his hat to his literary heroes, wielding the instructive tone of Norman MacCaig, the direct address of W.S. Graham, and Robert Browning’s sophisticated handling of the dramatic monologue and acoustic texturing, but it is to the imagining of a poetic place that Bennet gives his all.’ – Soumyaroop Majumdar, READ

Bennet really does know, very precisely, how to contrive the entry of the powers of place and history into his poems without depriving them of idiosyncrasy, surprise, or their darker natures.’ – Sean O’Brien, The Sunday Times

Often in Bennet’s poetry there is a sort of magical realism at work, reinforced by linguistic exuberance and rhythmic energy: this is poetry that – unfashionably – sings.’ – Roger Caldwell, Times Literary Supplement

‘Peter Bennet inhabits the past convincingly – wholly present in the worlds he evokes. This is a rare and enviable thing. There is an unforced elegance and control in his work, and the formal register he adopts fits his rich subject-matter perfectly.’ – Helen Mort, Poetry London

In “Pastoral” Bennet may see himself as “an upstart in the poetry of fields”, but in the craft of poetry he is a master.’ – William Bedford, The High Window

Bloodaxe Books

MEMBERS ENJOY 25% OFF ALL POETRY BOOKS

JOIN NOW

Join the Poetry Book Society for 25% off all books

Close (esc)

Popup

Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Search

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now