22 Aug 12
and in the shop…
(PBS Choice pamphlet)
“Living on the Difference”
this poet is taking part in the poetry tREnD project
Mike Barlow was winner of the National Poetry Competition 2006 with his poem The Third Wife, having previously won First Prize in the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2005, and First prize in the Amnesty International Competition 2002. In 2008, with a folio of five poems, he was a finalist for the Manchester Prize and in 2011 he won 3rd prize in the Strokestown International Competition. His latest collection is Charmed Lives (Smith/Doorstop, 2012).
His first collection, Living On The Difference, was overall winner of the Poetry Business Competition 2004 and subsequently short-listed for the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection:
cumulative power, cohesion and a particular, individual voice
questing intelligence and… a refusal to accept or offer easy answers
Kate Keogh, Acumen
His second collection, Another Place, was published by Salt in October 2007:
Technically assured, full of details observed with an artist’s eye, these are poems with an edge, able to alter the way you see things.
His pamphlet, Amicable Numbers, (Templar 2008) was selected as a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice:
Barlow’s view of the world is generous and humane, and his colloquial pitch and natural rhythms make him accessible… as a poet he can make language lively and inclusive, even when tackling ideas that are initially unfamiliar.
His third collection, Charmed Lives, was published by Smith/Doorstop in April 2012:
There’s a definite sense of the subversive in these poems, a kind of alternative worldview ‘from below’
Steve Spence, Stride
Instead of relying on surface effects, Barlow’s work catches the attention firstly through skilful choice of apt yet surprising words and images and secondly because of his knack of finding subject matter which can engage, intrigue and startle his readers.
Thomas Ovans, Londongrip