Published 1st October 2023. Available for pre-order.
No skimping. In their quiet but fierce attention to the unsung and the overlooked – paint splashes, tea stains, silences – Philip Hancock’s poems reveal the histories and horizons of entire lives.
‘Philip Hancock’s poems tap a deep vein of humiliation – humiliations of place and class and aspiration, and also that thudding-in-the-ears fear of being seen. Of being rumbled, almost. It’s a fear that transcends class, but which is also so much to do with being patronised and dealing with rage . . . Some of these verses are like little parables seen in reverse – as in those paintings where there’s some big Biblical personage in the front, but ordinary household stuff going on in the background,
and it’s that stuff that matters.’
– Will Eaves
‘Work is the site for thought and it’s a world of scaffolders, apprenticeships and the relief of the inside job that Hancock returns to, his unity of backdrop a means of demonstrating his style: subtle shifts of light and compressed, visual stage directions, which speak to wider concerns.’
– Declan Ryan
From previous reviews of Philip Hancock’s poetry:
‘Phil Hancock’s insights are precise and authentic – he is part of the great tradition of writers who capture the true spirit of working-class life.’
– Ken Loach
‘True originality: he writes with the sparkling eye of one who has discovered a rich and unaccountably neglected subject for poetic investigation.’
– Christopher Reid