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Trouble in the Heartland

Trouble in the Heartland, Joel Lane's second poetry collection, inhabits the same West Midlands landscape as his first collection, The Edge of the Screen (Arc, 1999) - a landscape of urban decay, violence, loneliness, abuse, addiction and chaos. Chaos is a particularly prominent theme in this book; in the first section, the chaos is around us, in the second, inside us, while the third and final section attempts to draw the outer and inner worlds together in order to make sense of the whole. For all its unrelenting subject matter, this is a surprisingly optimistic book - carefully observed, sensitive and grimly witty - and one that will confirm Joel Lane's considerable talents as a poet.
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About the Author

Joel Lane lives in Birmingham, where he works as a freelance editor and writer. He won an Eric Gregory award for poetry in 1993. His first collection of poems, The Edge of the Screen, was published by Arc in 1999. He is also author of two novels, From Blue To Black and The Blue Mask (Serpent's Tail) and a collection of short stories, The Earth Wire (Egerton Press). He has also edited an anthology of subterranean horror stories, Beneath the Ground (The Alchemy Press), and he and Steve Bishop have edited an anthology of crime and suspense stories Birmingham Noir (Tindal Street Press). He is currently working on his third novel, Midnight Blue.


"'Joel Lane's world is a world of urban bleakness, and yet these beautifully written poems draw us in, tell us their stories, and in the end offer us hope. Lane is crafting work for now, for the post-industrial and brutalised twenty-first century, and this book can help us to live in that world.' Ian McMillan"

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