This is a collection which deals openly and unsentimentally with bereavements and betrayals, childhood abuses and disappointments, all territory generally understood to be difficult both for poets and readers. Barraclough handles it well… This debut from Simon Barraclough, shortlisted for the 2008 Forward Prize for Best First Collection, demonstrates a poet’s eye for detail and provides a vehicle for a laconic and totally contemporary voice whose dramatic talents could easily move him into theatre and radio as well as poetry. (Jane Holland Under the Radar )
Any poet from Huddersfield must be within earshot of Simon Armitage and there are familiar elements (not least a torrential energy) in Simon Barraclough’s first collection …
London Whale shows how it should be done, with fluidity, delicacy, and tonal variety … There are several shorter (often sonnet-length) poems which balance everything successfully … and ingenious miniatures.
This is very good writing … a beautifully produced highly readable collection. (John Greening TLS )
['Los Alamos Mon Amour'] simultaneously assaults and seduces the senses with an understated charm …
If it is Barraclough's broad palette of subject matter that draws the reader in, it is his attention to the craft of poetry that will endure.
Like Simon Armitage, Barraclough grew up in Huddersfield and although in many ways he is a very different writer, there is something about this collection that brings to mind that first rush of excitement brought on by Armitage's early work. (Chris Horton London Magazine )