From the publisher:
Ken Smith (1938-2003) was a major voice in world poetry, his work and example inspiring a whole generation of younger British poets. His politically edgy, cuttingly colloquial, muscular poetry poetry shifted territory with time, from rural Yorkshire, America and London to the war-ravaged Balkans and Eastern Europe (before and after Communism). His early books span a transition from a preoccupation with land and myth to his later engagement with urban Britain and the politics of radical disaffection. The pivotal work marking this shift was his long poem Fox Running (1980), brought to recent attention when an archive recording of him reading it was broadcast by BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please in 2016. His Collected Poems brings together poetry from four decades, including all the work from two earlier retrospectives, The Poet Reclining: Selected Poems 1962-1980 (1982) and Shed: Poems 1980-2001 (2002), together with the posthumously published You Again: last poems & other words (2004). The book is introduced with essays by Roger Garfitt and Jon Glover, and the appendices include selected prose and interviews. Publication coincides with his 80th birthday and with the 40th anniversary of the publication of Bloodaxe’s first title, Ken Smith’s Tristan Crazy (1978).