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Too Close is Ann Alexander's third collection of poetry and the first from Ward Wood. She has won various prizes, including first prize in the Frogmore, Mslexia, and Bedford Open competitions, and third prize from Peterloo and in the BBC's Poem for Britain competition. Several prize-winning poems appear in Too Close, including the title poem (Mslexia, 2007). Black humour, uncomfortable honesty and a reluctance to take the world at face value make these poems a pleasure to read.
Ann Alexander lives in West Cornwall, and many of these poems reflect on the nature of life at the very edge of Britain. Before moving westward, she worked as an advertising copywriter in London, and uses the copywriter's spare, accessible language in this entertaining, thought-provoking collection.
‘Here is a poet whose work crackles with boundless energy. Her world is one of risk and daring. Familial perils and those of the wider world are addressed with unflinching observation and courage. Rooted in her Cornish experience, she nevertheless reaches out effortlessly into universal relevance. Much is dared, and her willingness to enter dangerous areas - aging, illness, mortality, the risks of love - give this collection an exhilarating edginess. There is also an accomplished and nonchalant wit at work, broadening the perspectives of these poems, creating a humane and true-hearted collection.’
Penelope Shuttle 9th October 2010
From readers of her last book:
“Love Facing Demons. No, love is a weak word. Strongly respond.”
'I have not enjoyed a poetic assembly so much for years…the alternation of dry comedy and black comment, all with the same spare mastery of the language, makes her stand out.'
Professor Charles Thomas
' Facing Demons is a consistently impressive collection, always readable yet grappling with the intangible.'
Jeremy Page, Editor, The Frogmore Papers
'Ann Alexander’s book Nasty, British & Short contains an immediate fix of the funny and the tragic - relationships and ageing seem to dominate….all fine and moving work.'
Acumen, January 2008
'Ann Alexander’s second collection comes across as sharply original and frequently transgressive, particularly as regards presuppositions about the sexes. Many of the poems ...have Biblical references. It is as if Alexander, for all her transgressive surface, is daring us to deny that beneath it she is seriously moral. She has a fine line in mordant humour…but humour often turns into something more complex for my money, the wittiest this year.'
Laurie Smith, Magma, Winter 2007/2008
Ann Alexander narrowly avoided the Second World War by being born in bombed-out Coventry in 1946, during the coldest winter on record. She worked as an advertising copywriter in London for many years before absconding to Cornwall, where she now lives. She has published two previous collections of poetry (Facing Demons, Peterloo Poets, 2002 and Nasty, British & Short, Peterloo Poets, 2007). She took first prize in the Frogmore, Bedford Open, and Mslexia competitions, came 3rd in the BBC’s poem for Britain (2003) and 3rd in the Peterloo poetry competition. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, on various websites including BBC2 , in a wide range of poetry magazines and on Radio 4. She is married and has one daughter.
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