Yet again we get to celebrate the success of one of our own…only this time, instead of it being one of our students going on to great things (as they do!), it’s one of our staff.
We’re delighted to say that on a cold, snowy night, to a packed room, our very own Ben Wilkinson gave us a sneaky one-day advance on his new book, Way More Than Luck.Long overdue, this new collection has been described by the Poetry Book Society as “‘weighty and cinematic, and [Ben’s] gift for finding the poetry in football terraces as well as crafting lyrical intrigue demonstrate his range and place as an up-and coming voice on the UK poetry scene.” And who are we to argue?
Twelve years in the making. Twelve long, sometimes painful years; the opening section of the book matches the experiences of depression against the redemptive power of art and (distance) running, before combining meditations on the simple complexities of football’s beauty and social urgency with tender love poems, political satire and strange dream worlds. It’s an urgently lyrical book of poems that take many forms and modes of address: pantoum, sonnet, sestina; epistle, confession, dramatic monologue.
Way More Than Luck is a book that shows how pain comes to define our happiness, how we keep on in a world of chance, uncertainty and change. As a full collection it demonstrates the skill, persistence and charm of a writer who knows how to voice his concerns so that we can all hear.
‘Ben Wilkinson is one to watch. A fine poet with a deft ear and a nice sense of how the external world presses on the inner one.’ – Nick Laird
‘The beautiful game inspires some beautiful poems in Ben Wilkinson’s terrific debut collection Way More Than Luck, but there’s far more than football to focus on here. For Jung, Liverpool was the pool of life and this book is full of life too; politically astute, well-made and formally experimental poems celebrate even its sadness in fresh language, natural rhythms and subtle music.’ – Ian Duhig