Rough Breathing makes available a broad selection (much of it never before in print, or published in fugitive journals) from over three decades of Harry Gilonis’s doggedly, cheerfully making his own luck. His poems insist on their quiddity at their moment of making; there is everything here from plain-speaking love-lyric to collaged transcriptions of British bird-song; from work rooted in unfamiliar landscapes to work written out of the innards of the language. Alert (without nostalgia) to the British Poetry Revival, cognisant of l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e, his poems are aware of their shape on the page, the sound they make as they go by the ear, and will stop at nothing to be themselves as fully and as openly as possible. The versatility and range of Rough Breathing, its use of processes both transparent and opaque, makes it – beyond a fine collection – a radical pattern-book to challenge workshops and creative seminars.
Published March 2018