I took my time with the work of Mark Fiddes.
I read and re-read, and then allowed it to percolate for a while.
The recipe seems to be this:
Take a pan of social commentary
Add a cup of literary allusion
and sprinkle with essence of wry
Then reduce over a low flame until it turns to gold
Turn the gold over
It is stamped
This is precise work without being delicate. It certainly carries a weight of meaning in a small space. The language is modern and the punctuation a necessary afterthought. The work is heavy with intent and the word choices careful, and yet, none of this gets in the way of the narrative.
This is intelligent, multi-layered modern Poetry and should be read.
It isn’t perfect, which is almost a relief, and there is in places an emphasis on waste which won’t appeal to everyone. But this is clever, deep and engaging. You can’t ask much more from a first collection.
The Chelsea Flower Show Massacre will be launched at Keats House by Templar Poetry on the 17th March 2015, and is the winner of the annual iShot Award. You can find more information at the sites below.