Don Paterson



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Don Paterson is one of Britain’s leading contemporary poets. A popular writer as well as a formidably intelligent one, he has won both a dedicated readership and most of Britain's major poetry prizes, including the T. S. Eliot Prize on two occasions, the Forward Prize in every category, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. In this first comprehensive study of Paterson’s poetry, Ben Wilkinson presents him as a modern-day metaphysical, whose work is characterised by guileful use of form, musicality, colloquial diction and playful wit, in pursuit of poetry as a moral and philosophical project. Drawing on a wide range of commentators, Wilkinson traces Paterson’s development from collection to collection, providing detailed close readings of the poems framed by theoretical and literary contexts. An essential guide for students, specialists, and the general reader of contemporary poetry, it presents Paterson as a major lyric poet.

Author Information

Ben Wilkinson is Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Bolton. His books include the poetry collections Way More Than Luck (Seren, 2018) and Same Difference (Seren, 2022). For over a decade, he has regularly written on contemporary poetry for publications including The Guardian, The Poetry Review, and the Times Literary Supplement.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Biographical Outline11
1. For the Hell of It: Nil Nil (1993)29
2. Which Man I Am: God’s Gift to Women (1997)45
3. Not Your Name, Not Mine: The Eyes (1999)61
4. Shrewd Obliquity of Speech: Landing Light (2003)77
5. Breath, You Invisible Poem: Orpheus (2006)95
6. None of This Matters: Rain (2009)111
Coda: 40 Sonnets (2015) and Zonal (2020)131
Select Bibliography149