Tom Pickard’s poems are by turns erotic and political, pastoral and urban, and make use of everyday speech with formal inventiveness and sophistication. Since High On the Walls (1967), he has written six books of poetry, and this career-spanning volume is his first in America.

“Young Tom Pickard for years ran the Morden Tower readings in Newcastle, Great Britain, and from early 1960s on was chief friend, host & proponent of new-wave American poetics . . . I am an old admirer of his poetry and believe he’s one of the livest truest poets of Great Britain. Under guidance from his friend the elder Basil Bunting he’s writ poetry with condensation, sharp focus and local speech directness, in lineage joining William Carlos Williams and ‘Geordie’ lyric vernacular.” —Allen Ginsberg

“Song sings itself in these poems. Their heart is clarity, spoken. Why shouldn’t the music lead and the heart follow — and mind be the wonder of their witness? This is a great poetry made of such common life, each word a step along the way.” —Robert Creeley

With collages by Tom Raworth.