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This is Luke Kennard’s fourth collection of poetry and departs from his previous work in its scope and outlook. The prose poems and dramatic monologues run deeper and, the verse more personal. It is unmistakably a Kennard book (the wolf appears here in his sixth outing), but there is also a striving to turn away from the self-referential games and literary in-jokes of Kennard’s previous work and look outward; an attempt to grow something in the personal ground broken by the last two collections, without sacrificing the wit and energy.
‘His language is exciting and it feels to me that he’s a truly 21st-century writer, taking inspiration from all over the place, unafraid of barriers and conventions.’ —Ian McMillan
‘Inventive, academically aware, fearless and hugely enjoyable.’ —Nick Laird
‘Thank heaven for Luke Kennard. As thought-provoking and poignant as it’s witty, this collection confirms him as an exceptional – in every sense – voice in poetry today.’ —Sarah Crown
‘Luke Kennard writes vibrant, original poems that stick in your mind for a long time and enliven your imagination.’ —Sophie Hannah
‘Kennard pushes the bounds of lyric taste and develops new modes for the prose poem, and for serious comedy in British poetry.’ —Todd Swift
‘Luke Kennard is one of the half-dozen thoroughly original poets of his generation... No one else has been able to navigate so cleverly the choppy waters he’s claimed for his own.’ —Todd Swift
‘Kennard’s work is clever, fascinating and with an off the wall, tongue in cheek sort of humour that is a joy to read or listen to.’ —Sabotage
‘He has something of the holy fool about him in his ability to wrongfoot more erudite, supposedly rational minds, and the way his madness reveals flashes of perspicacity.’ —Phoenix
‘This collection includes Kennard's most personal and political poems. It closes with "Jeremiah", a monologue from a businessman who consistently provides thrilling answers to a question a student poses: "What are poets for?" Kennard admires the American writer Ben Lerner who recently published a novel in which his narrator claims: "Poems aren't about anything". Kennard might concur but, with urgency and generosity, A Lost Expression addresses the world we live in now.’ —Max Liu