In a return to poetry after his two novels, August and I'll Go To Bed At Noon, Gerard Woodward continues to explore the theme that has haunted much of his work: how we domesticate the world of raw experience and make it our own. This ranges from the personal - the houses lived in with lovers, the houses outgrown and left behind - to the universal: the witty final poem anticipates the future occupation and history of Mars. Woodward's poems are always careful constructions of their own, but alongside his familiar formal verve, this collection has a new intimacy. Poems about his children, about parenthood, translate his own lived experience. His son's shoes are burnt, distilled and placed on a shelf in a stoppered glass jar, 'so that I have a broken/Path in my mind, of every/Step he's taken up till now'. His daughter translates for her parents the cries of lambs.
The poet and novelist Gerard Woodward was born in London in 1961 and is Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He has been awarded the Somerset Maugham Award and the Eric Gregory Award for his poetry. Meanwhile, his first novel, August, was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread First Novel Award and I'll Go to Bed at Noon was a finalist in the 2004 Man Booker Prize. This is his fourth collection of poetry.