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some time we are heroes cover

reuben woolley
some time we are heroes

US Trade, 81pp, €15, September 2018
ISBN 979-10-90394-58-2
The cover image is by Jan Stead

Reuben Woolley’s some time we are heroes traces the frayed relationship between two people in terms of a despairing yet lyrical crisis. Images of water, dancing, drinking and singing run through the book in poems whose lines shift nervously to produce a kind of sharp–edged jazz that touches both nerve and heart. George Szirtes

John and Mary, whose trials began in children’s post–war picture books, are pitched into existential tribulations in a dystopian universe, akin to Popa’s. These poems occupy the worlds of both myth and physics with flashes of folk–surrealism. Woolley’s language is spare, his syntax and word–choice paint an off–kilter logic. His use of white space allows the poems, and their imaginative journeys, to perform themselves on the page. Helen Ivory

In a line with our most ambitious striving for a new poetry and poetics, Woolley’s poems are both innovative in their means and open to the ruptures & struggles of our time that have broken apart the stories & myths that once held our world together — or that purported to do so. The results here are unique to his own special view of history & masterfully compelling. Jerome Rothenberg