Art of Insomnia (Peter A)

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'There occurs an uprooting' writes Peter A. in Helenium One and Only, a poem from his deeply moving collection Art of Insomnia, and this line epitomises the book's theme - the sudden absence of a much-loved wife, lost suddenly and tragically. The music of this grieving collection is various - sometimes staccato, stark, and direct, ('I have to escape / the persistence of kindness'), sometimes fluid and unfurling, long single stanzas rushing down the page, other times nakedly confessional or poignantly self-critical ('Some people think you're better/ than you actually are'), and other times spare, and with careful end rhyme ('Though in moments still/quiet teardrops spill'). An orchestral collection of many parts, it is enriching in its diversity, a sustained song of grief which is compelling and affecting.

Art of Insomnia is a moving conversation with a loved wife, and more broadly with anyone who has suffered a loss. It is a eulogy for that which is lost and yet equally a brave celebration of the solaces to be found in life - friendship, community and, as this vital and potent collection proves, in poetry itself.'

- Anna Saunders - author of Burne Jones and the Fox, Ghosting for Beginners, and Feverfew, (Indigo Dreams)