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Saturday, February 18, 2017

New Release: Alan Morrison TAN RAPTURES (Smokestack Books, April 2017)

Blurb: Alan Morrison’s eighth collection transposes the brown envelopes that strike fear into the unemployed as passports to Rapture through a twisted Tory notion of ‘salvation’ by benefit sanction. Tan Raptures comprises verse-missives from the frontline of the war against the poor and its spirit-stripping weapons of food banks, poor doors and homeless spikes. It’s a people’s history, from Dale Farm and the firebombing of Freedom Bookshop to Troika-shackled Athens, featuring the Bryant & May Matchgirls, the International Brigades, Runnymede Diggers and Los Indignados. It’s a celebration of radical figures like Gerrard Winstanley, Joe Hill, Wal Hannington, Conrad Noël and Christopher Caudwell. The title poem is a Catholic Socialist polemic in opposition to self-proclaimed ‘Roman Catholic’ Iain Duncan Smith’s despotic six year grip at the DWP.

Alan Morrison is rare among his generation on the current British poetry scene; he’s a provocative poet whose commitment to socialism is passionate. Yet Morrison is not simply a “political” poet in the narrow sense, he can be lyrical, humorous and inventive. I hope he will be as widely and appreciatively read as he deserves.’ 
Alexis Lykiard

 ‘In the poetry of Alan Morrison we are witnessing the development not just of a storyteller but of a history-teller. British realpolitik and the resistance to it are weighed on the scales. History is both dream and nightmare, and Morrison’s long-lined mini-epics cultivate the dream and pummel the nightmare, channelling the class war with real commitment and artistry.’
                                                                                                                                          Niall McDevitt

Alan Morrison is author of several critically acclaimed poetry collections: The Mansion Gardens (Paula Brown, 2006), A Tapestry of Absent Sitters (Waterloo Press, 2009), Keir Hardie Street (Smokestack Books, 2010), Captive Dragons/ The Shadow Thorns (Waterloo, 2012), Blaze a Vanishing/ The Tall Skies (Waterloo, 2013), Shadows Waltz Haltingly (Lapwing, 2015) and Tan Raptures (Smokestack, 2017). He is also the author of the verse-play Picaresque (2008) and of an epic polemical poem-in-progress, Odour of Devon Violet (2014- He is founding editor of The Recusant ( and Militant Thistles ( He selected and edited the two pioneering anti-austerity poetry anthologies, Emergency Verse – Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State (2011) and The Robin Hood Book – Verse Versus Austerity (2012; both Caparison). His poetry has been awarded grants from the Arts Council, the Royal Literary Fund and the Society of Authors.

Preorder Tan Raptures here:

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