Reviews of my work

 

Clifford's work is as rich as the church, its depth pulls you willingly under and keeps you reading...The title poem created an incubus the night I read it, I had a bad dream of limbs broken, dead light reflecting in eyes, staring though a computer monitor: 'Every permutation of falling is being logged.' Read more.


 

   © Grant Tabard

Stride review of Computer Generated Crash Test Dummies, BLER, 2017

 

These poems mine the darker side of life, but do so with a genuine and engaging curiosity. Clifford presents an apocalyptic vision that is all the more discomfiting for the tone of weary normality that imbues the poet’s observations. Imagistic poems such as ‘Blood’ and ‘That No Good Will Come of it’ are expansive, almost hallucinogenic visions.

The pamphlet has its moments of humour, including ‘The Rules’ which takes an acerbic swipe at the limitations placed on poets by questions of what constitutes good taste or proper poetic subject matter:

There’s also an affecting tenderness to be found in poems such as ‘Elegy’ and ‘Ghost’, and this tempers the pamphlet’s blacker moods with an understated wistfulness.

… the visceral nature of the work wins out, making this a refreshingly direct pamphlet, full of startling visions. Read more...

Computer Generated Crash Test Dummies, reviewed by Jessica Traynor, Sabotage Reviews

 

 

What should you expect from a Graham Clifford poem? Beautiful-terrible imagery, to steal his penchant for the hyphen; vivid ideas at once familiar and strange; economy of language that drives you to examine the meaning behind each word choice; and honesty. Read more...

Racheal Stirling, Sabotage Reviews  

 

 

Any collection containing a piece called "The Best Poem Ever Written" has already thrown away its safety net, its right to complacency under scrutiny. Presenting such a direct challenge to any reader (or, indeed, any writer) slaps down the gauntlet; the work simply must be good. Highly commended for various poetry prizes, Graham Clifford's reputation implies that he may just get away with it. Read more...

 

Adam Learmonth, Dundee University Review of the Arts

 

 

Clifford's poetry is eclectic and very original. These poems linger in the memory long after reading, due to both their quirky humour and their often unsettling, thought-provoking quality. Clifford's scope as a poet is most definitely commendable, and I hope to see more of his work in the near future. Read more...

Alicia Byrne Keane, New Welsh Review


So many things are addressed in this short but wonderful collection, it highlights that Clifford really can write about anything he turns his hand to, wandering with ease between the topics of writing, being a father, and many other things that one or two readers are sure to relate to. With the likes of How to Hurt and About my Daughter bringing a deep authenticity to the individual texts within this collection, we are not only getting a wonderful taste of the author's abilities, but also of the author himself, which I particularly enjoyed.

Clifford's use and manipulation of form is also worth noting briefly here, as it quickly becomes apparent that the author is open to experimentation with his presentation of texts, something that I greatly appreciated. Varying use of stanza length, indentations of lines, incorporation of other sources; they may all be relatively simple techniques, but how they are used speaks volumes here, and they serve to add another layer of variety to this touching collection. 
 
 
Charlotte Barnes, 
 Mad Hatter Reviews

 

 

Graham Clifford is a master of the knowing, wryly observed poem with a wide range of subject matter...

Emma Lee, Elsewhere Poetry Review

 

 

 

Links to reviews of Welcome Back to the Country

 

PN review - review of my pamphlet byAlison Brackenbury 

Clifford's domestic poems sound troubling new dimensions. A UFO appears. 'The cutlery drawer is a convoluted mantrap'. There are black suggestions of freedom - 'Let's grow a forest and hide in it' - but an inescapable tone is Clifford's coolly brutal frankness: 'When I tell you they have split up you smile'. Yet the sounds Clifford teaches and handles assuredly are revealed by his poetry to be mysterious, even magical: read more...

 

Londongrip.co.uk- review of Welcome Back to the Country

Stride Magazine - Deathsand Lifetimes Passing Slowly

Happenstance - SphinxReview

Gwales -AdolygiadGwales

 

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