A new collection from Glyn Maxwell – one of the great poetic stylists of the era, and one of its leading dramatic voices – is always a cause for celebration. Here, there are squibs and satires, lyrics and songs, poems written to family members and in memory of loved ones, a series of poems written by an artificial intelligence that will thrill and disturb in equal measure, and a chance for the blank page to finally speak for itself. But How The Hell Are You is, in its way, also a quietly political book: Maxwell regards poetry as truth-telling, and these poems – in their intimate, unsparing accounts and clear-eyed reckonings – recoil from the lies and fake news of the age to actually ‘tell it like it is’.
How The Hell Are You shows a remarkable imagination and mind working at full tilt, and is the most powerful expression of Maxwell’s talent to date.
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