Helen Burke is a poet constantly on tour, and at each stop she makes time to take requests from the audience, for favourite poems from her vast back catalogue. These ‘requested poems’ have been brought together for Here’s Looking at You Kid, the long-awaited follow-up to Helen’s much-loved first collection The Ruby Slippers. Like its predecessor, this new book includes notes on each poem, a generous sprinkling of Helen's unique illustrations, and an introduction by the author.
Readers will at long last discover the secrets of ‘hospital lingo’, find out why dogs are so especially kind, learn how to handle mothers who are at ‘that difficult age between 81 and 81-and-a-half’, and the lurid details of ‘what they found in the poet’s stomach’. These are poems selected by the public, and tested on audiences all over the world. Each one is someone’s favourite – but which will be yours?
“These are poems to read out loud for their wit, character and dialogue. They capture the sound of a voice, the essence of a person, with sad notes to sweeten the humour.”
— Gillian Clarke
“These poems sprawl all over you with the energy of a teething Labrador pup ... They are made with a hopeless love for humanity and a knowing compassion for our failings. They are of the Planet Lingo, the Planet Burke, unique, determined and inimitable.”
— Paula Meehan
“Burke writes wittily and sensitively, with insight, and not a jot of sentimentality.”
— Mike Jenkins
“Life-affirming ... This is poetry as alchemy.”
— Bill Kirton
Helen Burke was born in Doncaster, 1953, and started writing poetry in the 1970s. Since then she has amassed an impressive record of competition victories, including the Manchester International, the Suffolk Poetry Prize, and the Ilkley Literature Performance Poetry Prize (twice). Her work has been published in Rialto, New Welsh Review, Northwords, Dreamcatcher, as well as in numerous anthologies and pamphlets.
Her full-length collections of poetry are The Ruby Slippers, first published in 2011, and Here's Looking at You Kid, in 2014, both published by Valley Press. February 2017 will see the release of Today the Birds Will Sing, a definitive 'collected' edition including all the poetry Helen has published since 1969.
Date Published: 2014-10-17
Catalogue Number: VP0057
Number of Pages: 64
Cover design by Jamie McGarry
Cover illustration by Helen Burke
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