Cinnamon Press, 2011


‘Surfacing’ explores some of the many routes from darkness into light.


It begins underground, in an abandoned place. Even there, there are stirrings, occasional explosions into an inexplicably dazzling light, an insistence on shafts of optimism. The tone of the book shifts towards a recurrent note of affirmation among shadows.


The poems look back, far back: ‘The Shelveian Event’ moves between the violence of shifting continents and the fossilised remains of individual raindrops: like many of these poems, it’s a celebration of the creation that’s worked for.


Alongside this, there’s a vivid focus on childhood. From all kinds of perspectives, Steve Griffiths is interested in how we came to be what we are. He shines occasional sharp lights on the contemporary: being rejected for a job and knowing why; injustice in the Middle East; the decimation of wild birds; a woman singing hymns loudly in a London park.


A number of these poems have appeared in Poetry Wales. Others have appeared in The Rialto, Artesian, Brand, London Magazine, Pivot (USA), Planet, Red Poets, Scintilla, Smiths Knoll, and The Same (USA).


Philip Gross, winner of the TS Eliot poetry prize in 2010, has written about ‘Surfacing’ :


‘This is a varied but coherent collection by a subtle and deeply intelligent writer who can address human concerns like the intimate recall of childhood or the challenges of middle age without sentimentality’.


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