REVIEWS

STEVE GRIFFITHS POET

BOOK REVIEWS

Late Love Poems (Cinnamon Press, 2016) - early responses to films and poems

 

Late Love Poems explores what is timeless about love but also those qualities of sexuality, pain, devotion and grief that are affected by the ageing process.....if Griffiths upholds certain conventions of love poetry, he also debunks them. Taken as a whole, Late Love Poems is a ruthless dissection of love in the modern age. It presents an intimate diary of love which explores the rhythms of living with someone, cooking with someone, sleeping with someone.... Ultimately, though Griffiths' collection challenges one age-old stereotype - that love is the domain of the young - it is unable to deny the other: love cannot make us immortal.

Katya Johnson, Poetry Wales

 

Beautifully done, beautifully read and beautifully written.

Philip Gross

 

Here are small, intensely crafted poems-in-film, which possess integrity above all. They are charged with celebration, with pleasures, and an intent and generous observation of life and love. Steve Griffiths' poems are exactly judged, rich with imagery, human, touched here and there with wry humour, hugely enjoyable. They speak to the commonality of human experience, of love and ageing.

Jean Atkin

 

The poem films themselves are fantastic. A good example of collaboration and mixing creative genres. Well executed. Variety. Lovely voice and face. Good visuals. Technically accomplished. It is, in my opinion, wonderful to have an older face on youtube especially as the poems are about finding love late in life too.

Nadia Kingsley, publisher, Fair Acre Press

 

I loved Backstroke (the film)

Tessa Fitchie, producer, The Arts Show, BBC Radio Wales

Surfacing (Cinnamon Press, 2011)

 

‘In Surfacing, (Steve Griffiths) pays minutely close attention to everyday phenomena.. The poems are conversational, philosophical, autobiographical, with a meticulously chosen vocabulary… condensed sentence-sculptures of crisp nouns and verbs.

 

‘Dipping through Surfaces’ begins with the straightforward image of the poet’s life as a stack of years, which then becomes a tree of disks – a strangely beautiful image with half-lived years that ‘glowered in the trunk’ and others just ‘a pulsing spark’ – before finally branching out into a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels, burrows, lofts, mines, attics and passages.

‘This seems to be the loose theme of the collection: coming up to the surface from a dark place. Recovery seems to come through reverent concentration at the surface of things – in the world and in language. This brings the poet to a recognition, at the end of the collection, of the necessity of those dark, strange places, a realisation that ‘unregarded bolts of darkness / hold things together’ (‘Dark Energy’)’.

 

Steven Hitchins, Poetry Wales, 49.3, Winter 2013

 

An Elusive State: Entering al–Chwm (Cinnamon Press, 2008)

 

“An Elusive State is a poetic epic of time, place and language….both as invented as More’s original Utopia, and as real as the small town on Anglesey where Griffiths was born…… a distinctive, distinguished accomplishment….. truly a parable of many parallels, one for and beyond our times, and one where – most importantly – the poetry is all”

Amanda Hopkinson, Planet, Issue 195, 2009

 

Selected Poems (Seren, 1993)

 

“…(the poems) show him to possess that defining attribute of the important talent, the capacity for sustained development. The continuity is felt, imparted by a pulse from the heart of books and poems, rather than residing in conveniently definable themes or motifs. Griffiths’ achievement lies in the emergence in his writing of a mode in which social, ethical and personal elements undergo a deep fusion…”

 

Douglas Houston, Poetry Wales

Civilised Airs (Seren, 1984)

 

“…another ghost can be sensed – the austere authority of Zbigniew Herbert – and when Griffiths hits this note he reminds us of a great lack in our poetry…”

Sean O’Brien, TLS

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BOOK REVIEWS

 

Surfacing (Cinnamon Press, 2011)

 

‘In Surfacing, (Steve Griffiths) pays minutely close attention to everyday phenomena.. The poems are conversational, philosophical, autobiographical, with a meticulously chosen vocabulary… condensed sentence-sculptures of crisp nouns and verbs.

 

‘Dipping through Surfaces’ begins with the straightforward image of the poet’s life as a stack of years, which then becomes a tree of disks – a strangely beautiful image with half-lived years that ‘glowered in the trunk’ and others just ‘a pulsing spark’ – before finally branching out into a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels, burrows, lofts, mines, attics and passages.

‘This seems to be the loose theme of the collection: coming up to the surface from a dark place. Recovery seems to come through reverent concentration at the surface of things – in the world and in language. This brings the poet to a recognition, at the end of the collection, of the necessity of those dark, strange places, a realisation that ‘unregarded bolts of darkness / hold things together’ (‘Dark Energy’)’.

 

Steven Hitchins, Poetry Wales, 49.3, Winter 2013

 

An Elusive State: Entering al–Chwm (Cinnamon Press, 2008)

 

“An Elusive State is a poetic epic of time, place and language….both as invented as More’s original Utopia, and as real as the small town on Anglesey where Griffiths was born…… a distinctive, distinguished accomplishment….. truly a parable of many parallels, one for and beyond our times, and one where – most importantly – the poetry is all”

Amanda Hopkinson, Planet, Issue 195, 2009

 

Selected Poems (Seren, 1993)

 

“…(the poems) show him to possess that defining attribute of the important talent, the capacity for sustained development. The continuity is felt, imparted by a pulse from the heart of books and poems, rather than residing in conveniently definable themes or motifs. Griffiths’ achievement lies in the emergence in his writing of a mode in which social, ethical and personal elements undergo a deep fusion…”

 

Douglas Houston, Poetry Wales

Civilised Airs (Seren, 1984)

 

“…another ghost can be sensed – the austere authority of Zbigniew Herbert – and when Griffiths hits this note he reminds us of a great lack in our poetry…”

Sean O’Brien, TLS