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Synopsis

Though John Glenday has long been admired for his lyrically delicate and emotionally powerful poetry, he has remained something of a well-kept secret. His third collection, Grain, makes his singular talent available to a wider audience. Sometimes Glenday’s poems are forcefully direct; sometimes they are so quiet they feel as if they were composed within a capacious listening, as a form of secular prayer. Glenday’s seamless lyric can also disguise some wild and surreal tales: the Beauty and the Beast told in reverse, a bizarre list of new saints, or a can of peaches waiting for the invention of the tin-opener. However, the lasting impression is of a genuinely spiritual poet, one with the ability to turn every earthly detail towards the same clear light. Grain announces Glenday as an essential voice in contemporary poetry.