28 Oct 12
and in the shop…
Ward Wood Publishing;
“In the Distance”
David Cooke was born in 1953 in Wokingham, Berkshire, although his family comes from the West of Ireland, a circumstance that has greatly influenced his poetry. In 1977, while he was still a student at Nottingham University, he won a Gregory Award and went on to publish his first collection Brueghel’s Dancers (Free Man’s Press, 1984). He then stopped writing for more than twenty years. In 2011 Night Publishing bought out In the Distance, a retrospective collection of poems from the 1970s and 1980s. A new collection, Work Horses, was published in 2012 by Ward Wood Publishing. Continuing his examination of the themes of identity and belief in the context of his own family history, this collection also takes the reader further afield into Russia and the Muslim community of Sri Lanka. More recent work has been informed by the themes of landscape and ecology.
Over the years David Cooke has published poems and reviews in many journals such as Agenda, Ambit, Assent, Asian American Times, Bête Noire, Blackbox Manifold, The Bow Wow Shop, Cannon’s Mouth, Carillon, Critical Quarterly, Cyphers, Envoi, The French Literary Review, The Frogmore Papers, Hibernia, Honest Ulsterman, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Irish Press, London Grip, The London Magazine, Magma, New Walk, The North, Nth Position, Orbis, Other poetry, Outposts, Poetry and Audience, Peony Moon, The Poetry Bus, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, Prole, The Reader, Roundy House, Seventh Quarry, THE SHOp, Stand, Tadeeb International, The Use of English and Weyfarers.
The ghosts of a West of Ireland family haunt these poems, but Cooke is not treading ground already made familiar by others. Growing up in England, he is a poet whose ‘making strange’ grows naturally out of his exile between two countries.
William Bedford, Agenda
Along with his understanding of the poem as a made thing, Cooke exhibits a flair for investing the ordinary with new significance. Experimental in the best sense, technically impressive, rooted in the actuality of everyday experience, David Cooke’s poetry is immediate, memorable and impressive.
Ian Parks, Endymion
Cooke is a convincing and rewarding poet whose work deserves a wide readership.
Peter Bennet, Other Poetry