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Soft Keys


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'These are complex poems of darkness and radiance, miracle and desolation. And behind their answering energies, an awareness of the scintilla of grace.'Pauline Stainer

About the Author

Michael Symmons Roberts was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1963. He has published six collections of poetry and received a number of accolades including the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Award and the Whitbread Poetry Prize. As a librettist, his work has been performed in concert halls and opera houses around the world. An award-winning broadcaster and dramatist, he has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


The poems are highly accomplished, constituting an intelligent, courageous attempt to write a contemporary religious poetry, one where God and videogames co-exist. This is very hard to do, but the voice of Soft Keys is genuinely contemporary; the best poems are lit with finely-nuanced details which the imagination can relish. A poem such as "The Telex" is sure, strange, beautifully judged -- Robert Crawford
I love Michael Symmons Roberts' poetry. He is a religious poet in a secular age. His work is about connection between the things of the spirit and the things of the world. And his work is about transcendence -- Jeanette Winterson
An outstanding writer * Sunday Times *
Michael Symmons Roberts' poems are intense and sensual explorations of the moment when the soul quickens to some ice-cracking life. The Christian faith gives Roberts' work an iconography, a deep well of symbolism, that links him with poets like David Jones or Geoffrey Hill. Like them, his work exists to errode whatever conceals that glinting mica of truth... through language at once precise and excitingly resonant -- Adam Thorpe

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