Chris McCully


The Literary Review reviews Outside and Selected Poems

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A terrific review of Outside and Selected Poems in The Literary Review (by Andrew Greig, May 2011). I'm still (forgive me) reeling from the shock.

About Outside: '[T]he value of these pieces lies in the bleak, grey-gleaming beauty of their prose, the illumination of lowly, unconsidered aspects of the world, and the underlying existential enquiry....These multiple...pieces...written in a scrupulous prose, host a compelling interplay of thought, sensation and - way back in the mix but all the stronger for that - emotion. To find it deeply absorbing, you don't have to be interested in angling, only in being outside. All in all, it is rather wonderful.'

About Selected Poems: 'McCully's [poems]...have many of the qualities of his prose - patience, tenacity, restless curiosity - as well as a fascination with form and an additional wit, even playfulness....I particularly like the late poems, which for me have echoes of young Eliot and late Lowell....Above all, Chris McCully gets the life of words, their swing and weight, resonance and cadence. The poems spark with great lines and phrases.....'

I also very much enjoyed the caption to the publicity photo which accompanied Andrew Greig's review: 'McCully: grump'.

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