Lake Shore Drive is John Wilkinson's most public, openly political and expansive book. By contrast with the baroque architectonics of his last Salt book, Contrivances, Lake Shore Drive is wide-ranging and variously vernacular in both scope and form, en route between New York City, Damascus, East London and the Welsh, Cornish and Indiana shorelines. Four poem clusters provide the book's binding force in asphalt and marram grass, protein receptor sites and the remembrance of corrupt data. Among these are interwoven short poems as compressed as expletives, and technicolor desertscapes, along with a gaggle of geese and dollops of general balm. This book will ensure that John Wilkinson's poetry becomes the resort of a much extended readership.
‘John Wilkinson's taut, precise poems, in which lyric grace and ethical urgency move together but never comfortably mix, amount to one of the most significant bodies of work in contemporary poetry.’ —Patrick McGuinness
‘Dense, angry and hard to forget, Notre Dame poet-in-residence Wilkinson's sixth book comprises an anxious denunciation of modern international systems of money and power. Just as unsettling as his earlier work (i.e., Proud Flesh), but easier to follow, these odes, series, mythic retellings and verse-portraits pursue the underbelly of capitalism, from sports arenas to airport runways, where "stuck-up integrity/ plundering the biosphere,/ rolls the thin mantle to a lump sum." His gnarled, forbidding visions are not for everyone: "a back-handed archaeology restuffs the earth," while "the ghosts of the dead drive machines/ beautifully engineered to collect the blood needed." The energy of these poems, however, is undeniable, their force unmistakable, and this may be the book through which they catch on. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.’ —Publishers Weekly
‘Holidays allow both the time and energy necessary for more rewarding reading. I'm looking forward to spending time with John Wilkinson's latest volume of poetry, Lake Shore Drive; his poems are lyrical, sensual, political, challenging, intelligent. Initially alluring and mysterious, they open up gradually in surprising and provocative ways.’ —Robert Potts