Released on 12 April 2012.

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The Dark Film

3.76 based on 35 ratings & 8 reviews on

2013 Short-listed

T. S. Eliot Prize


The Dark Film, Paul Farley’s first collection since the highly acclaimed Tramp in Flames, expands the poet’s research into ‘the art of seeing’, and all that humans project of themselves into the world. Farley’s great poetic gift is his ability to switch between the local and the universal, the present and the historical past, with the most apparently effortless of gear changes; he brings to our immediate attention things previously hidden – whether out of sight, in the periphery of our vision, or right under our noses. The Dark Film is a profound meditation on time, on the untold stories of our history, and on the act of human beholding – as well as Farley’s most richly entertaining and rewarding collection to date.

‘One of the most exciting of the early-career English poets. A writer who brings danger to what he describes in the title of one piece as “Big Safe Themes,” Farley ranges effortlessly from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark to Google Earth’ Paul Muldoon, The Week

‘One of the most disarmingly original poets now writing’ Alan Brownjohn, Sunday Times

‘Resonant without being flashy . . . lines that will stick with you for a really, really long time’ Mark Haddon, Guardian

‘Funny, observant, brilliantly musical . . . streetwise, erudite, elusive, but very accessible’ Ruth Padel, Financial Times

‘Farley is one of our most vital and engaging voices. He has the knack of both establishing and undermining the securities of memory purely through turn of phrase’ W. N. Herbert, Scotland on Sunday