Few English poets have quite Kit Wright's range. From heart-felt lyricism to blistering satire, from the ribald to the grief-stricken, his poems cover almost everything life can throw at anyone, quite literally from the sublime to the ridiculous. Entertaining and engaging, writing with wit, panache and dazzling virtuosity, Kit Wright is both a seriously funny poet and a poignant chronicler of our times. His latest collection, published on his 70th birthday, shows him young at heart and writing, as always, from the heart of England.
‘Poets write closer to their lives than novelists, so when you follow a poet down the years you acquire a (possibly false) sense of proximity. I’ve had Hugo Williams and Kit Wright as decades-long companions. Both are witty and lyrical (and very tall), Wright more the balladeer; they are now seventyish, and the bleaknesses of age and mortality are pushing into their latest collections: Williams’s I Knew the Bride (Faber) and Wright’s Ode to Didcot Power Station (Bloodaxe). This makes them even better (and just as companionable)’ - Julian Barnes, TLS Books of the Year.
'A witty, brilliantly varied collection.' - Suzi Feay, Independent on Sunday.
‘Much of Wright's distinctiveness comes from his delighted engagement with pre-modern forms in order to create an angle on the material… Few poets are inclined, and fewer still are able, to muster the deliberately conspicuous formal accomplishment that marks light verse at its best. Wendy Cope, and before her Gavin Ewart, Philip Larkin occasionally and WH Auden are, with Wright, among its most distinctive modern exponents’ - Sean O’Brien, Guardian.
‘Wright may sometimes be described as a poet of “light” subjects but he isn’t to be taken lightly… The whole collection is Wright in full flight, full of puns, bullseye bombast and outrageous but never gratuitous rhymes… Everywhere the quotidian… is transformed by his wicked mastery of form’ - Richard Mabey, New Statesman.
‘Kit Wright’s work is a bracing reminder that rhythm is a limitless resource of language, and that poetry need not sacrifice verbal subtleties to raise its voice in song. Speakable and readable, his new collection ranges from the manic mock heroics of the title poem, “Ode to Didcot Power Station”, to the descriptive intimacies of the sequence “Talking to the Weeds”’ - Carol Rumens, on her Guardian Poem of the week.