The title of Kelly Grovier's third collection, The Lantern Cage, conjures contrasting images of illumination and shadow, warmth and confinement, the burning soul and the material body. The poems it brings together are fascinated by a universe whose meaning flickers dimly across the walls of our experience. Prompted by scenes that occur in life's everyday spaces - city streets and secondhand shops, museum galleries and trains - these are poems that seek to shine a warm light on the mysteries that underlie our existence. This is a world of 'undeciphered sands', 'lost cathedrals', 'buried books', and 'bone machines' - a land where substance and shadow blur. By turns lyrical and philosophical, romantic and playful, The Lantern Cage is a collection located on the margins of vision, where the invisible calculations of being ('algorithms of rain'; 'the long divisions / of suffering') remain unsolvable - a realm whose secrets are kept 'under lough and quay'.
Kelly Grovier's book on contemporary art, 100 WORKS OF ART THAT WILL DEFINE OUR AGE, has been described as "a major addition to the literature of art criticism and philosophy" (Library Journal) and "the book that generated most debate this year" (The Daily Telegraph). It was named one of the best books of the year by The Daily Telegraph newspaper, The Huffington Post, The Independent newspaper, Metro newspaper, and Time Out magazine.
His history of London's notorious Newgate Prison, THE GAOL, was selected as "Book of the Week" by BBC Radio 4 and serialized on-air over five days.
He is the author of three collections of poetry, including THE LANTERN CAGE, and has been described by reviewers as "a poet of both truth and beauty" (The TLS) and "a kind of William Blake for the twenty-first century" (Planet magazine).
Kelly was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was educated at UCLA and Oxford University, where he earned his doctorate as a Marshall Scholar. He is a regular contributor on art to The Times Literary Supplement and co-founder of the scholarly journal European Romantic Review. He currently lives in Ireland.