by Tom French
Shortlisted for the 2023 Pigott Poetry Prize, Company by Tom French (Gallery Press) is ‘a powerfully assured and authentic book of poems. The company of the title evokes the powers and pitfalls of friendship and family, and the capacity of historic narratives and works of art to address and contain the reality of individual and collective human experience. It also refers to animals and landscapes, those agents of wordless companionship that appear through the collection like dual guarantees of environmental pressure and imaginative intensity. Company excels and delights with its spirited lyricism and through a brilliant illusion of empathic conversation on the page.' - Judges' citation, Pigott Poetry Prize
Tom French's seventh collection of poems displays an uncommon range of subject matter - from responses to the work of an American Midwestern primitive painter to a chilling account (in ‘Commission') of the treatment of young, unmarried mothers in Ireland. Unusually adept at both long and short poems, as well as sequences, the poet is again haunted by the legacy of world wars and the smaller wars in between.
‘To Distance' is an extended chronicle of the lockdown while the book's mood is tempered by the absurd comedy of the Ayreshire Cattle Breeders' annual meeting. In poems marked by rare poise the author ventures into various hostelries, including one where
This threshold holds against the very tide.
Call here a port. Call all outdoors the storm.
Steadily and without fanfare Tom French's work warms to facing down the predicament of living.
Usually despatched in 2-5 working days.
Date of Publication: 03/10/2022