POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION. Elegant, interesting, fluent, funny and wise, Tim Dooley's new collection Keeping Time brings together lyrics and fragmentary narratives, the remembered and the imagined, in poems whose every line seems balanced as if with a spirit level. In a special issue of Agenda on 'The State of Poetry', Dooley wrote 'the condition of poetry isn't soliloquy but colloquy, a conversation that's been going on before the poem starts, and is capable of being joined and continued by others.' Keeping Time reflects this plural, provisional vision. New vocabularies of social and technological change cohabit with after-images of traditional literary forms. Key public events of recent years are explored alongside recurring timeless themes. First- and third person- pieces accompany narratives whose protagonists slip slyly from one poem to another. This is a poetry of light and movement that captures the reader's attention in unexpected ways.
Tim Dooley was born in 1951 and grew up in the West Country. He read English at Oxford and has a research MA in Victorian Poetry from the Open University. He has taught English and Film Studies, in schools and in Further Education, in London and Hertfordshire since 1974. He is reviews and features editor of Poetry London and has worked as a creative writing tutor for Arvon, Writers' Inc and The Poetry School. He has reviewed poetry for the TLS and co-edited the little magazine Green Lines. His first collection, The Interrupted Dream, was published by Anvil in 1985. This was followed by The Secret Ministry (2001) and Tenderness (2004), both winners in the Poetry Business pamphlet competition. Tenderness was also a Poetry Book Society pamphlet choice. Along with Keeping Time, which was a Poetry Book Society recommendation for Winter 2008, Imagined Rooms brings together the poems Tim Dooley wishes to keep from four decades of writing.