When knowledge is ours at the tap of a key, what is it we’re accumulating, and is it at the expense of another, more intuitive, kind of knowing?
The word ‘fool’ derives from the Latin follis, one of whose meanings is ‘empty-headed person’. Such mindlessness is not quite imaginable, but perhaps it is possible that by unknowing a thing we can start to see it differently. There’s a lot the fool doesn’t know – otherwise they wouldn’t be a fool – but can anyone be trusted to know anything?
A low-level hum of discordance runs through these poems: between inner and outer worlds, between the sceptical and the wondering mind. Ideas of belief and truth play out in various ways, often through lone figures, fools maybe, thinking aloud, continually distracted by the necessary performance of being.
Shortlisted for the 2016 Roehampton Poetry Prize
'Colloquial, faintly unruly, the poems travel light on adventures of conciseness, channelling the energies of a big, agnostic imagination into new forms'
'Alive Alive O is a compelling book, defiant in the face of life's losses'
'This is a collection that thrives not on solutions, but on endless, boundless possibilities.'
Shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Book Award
'Honest, observant poems from a collection which is both wonderfully unsettling and deeply life-affirming'
Costa Book Award Judges
Winner of the 2002 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize
Shortlisted for the 2002 Forward Prize for Best First Collection
'Long after we have stopped reading, Stoddart's haunting imagery and living music play on in our minds'
'At Home in the Dark is a fine debut collection from a poet of huge promise'