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last update:
20 Mar20

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article by
William Oxley
“Ian Caws: A Mystical Elegance of Form”

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collections –
“Founder’s Day”
Dempsey & Windle
“Taro Fair”
Shoestring Press
“The Blind Fiddler”
“Dialogues in Mask”
Pikestaff Press


Ian Caws has published 15 collections since 1975. He has been a recipient of the Eric Gregory Award and of a Southern Arts Literature Bursary. He was runner up in the National Poetry Competition having been a prizewinner the year before. The Ragman Totts was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He has published widely in magazines, newspapers and journals in the UK as well as in the USA, Canada, Australia, India and Hong Kong. He is married with 5 grown up children and lives in West Sussex.
His collections are: Looking for Bonfires (1975), Bruised Madonna (1979), Boy with a Kite (1981), The Ragman Totts (1990), Chamomile (1994), The Feast of Fools (1994), The Playing of the Easter Music (with Martin C Caseley and B.L Pearce, 1996), Herrick’s Women (1996), Dialogues in Mask (2000), Taro Fair (2003), The Blind Fiddler (2004), The Canterbury Road (2007), Asylum Tea (2011) and Founder’s Day (2020).
Review comments:

Observant, searching unrestful investigations into the shadows… humane feelings and an unusual power of construction.


John Fuller in the Observer


We tend to think of the Georgians as a road not taken but there is a continuing tradition – a peculiarly English one – of well made pastoral poetry and Ian Caws has for many years represented the best of it.


John Greening in the Times Literary Supplement


Our poetry is safe and enduring as long as there are a few poems of the type created by Ian Caws in each generation of native poets.


Kevin Bailey in Outposts


A pastoral metaphysical writing beautifully now in the Twenty First Century. He is a most elusive poet. What I mean is that his poems are subtle and blended like the finest malt whiskies. It takes a while to sort out the echoes, the suggestions, the allusions from each other to get the full flavour of meaning but the result is very rewarding.


William Oxley in Acumen