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Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Modern Poets S.) Paperback – 25 Feb 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing (25 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844717860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844717866
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,394,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Barraclough may see himself as travelling lightly through the world, but he catches the sense of what it's like to live in the modern city more astutely and more often than most other poets. Salt is to be congratulated on investing in publishing his first collection in hardback. (Laurie Smith Magma)

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)


Simon Barraclough offers up a poetry of contrasts: he is a relaxed formalist, a hands-off sensualist, a subtle polemicist and a humorist you can take seriously. All these strands are brought together by a deft hand under the watch of a filmic eye. (Roddy Lumsden)|Barraclough can turn a world-weary hangover into a zoetrope of colour and shadow. He can move you with the precision of his imagery and rhyme and shock you with a sudden correlation. Throughout this marvellously unsettling noirish collection, Barraclough never succumbs to introspection: even in the bleakest of storms, his poetry remains determined to look outwards, to engage and entrance. (Luke Kennard)|Simon Barraclough’s versatile imagination explores diverse subjects in a linguistically inventive style that varies in tone from sardonic to compassionate. A moving and at times painfully funny first collection. (Daljit Nagra)|Sharing with other admirers of the late Michael Donaghy a winning propensity for using mythical America as a lexical paint-box, Simon Barraclough stands out even among the stand-outs in his readiness to make a knowing reference to the popular arts twice per line. But the best proof is here: poems with the unmistakeable stamp of a vision asserting itself through vocabulary. (Clive James)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Great news that this collection has been short-listed for the prestigious Forward Prize for a first collection of poetry. It's a strong vote for an unpretentious, witty, allusive and moving collection of verse. Barraclough better bloody win!
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not a big reader of poetry, but a friend recommended this to me and I owe her one. Simon Barraclough packs meaty stuff into his delicate writing - losing a parent who's never quite gone, love that never quite works out, nights out where miracles happen, alien abduction and Quality Street, Coronation Street and Seventh Avenue.

And women too, whether it's the truncated love of "Long Haul" (first drunken gropes to heartbreak in 5 stanzas) or the small joy of watching a woman try on clothes, even though she's buying them to wear for her other lover ("Fitting").

I'll even forgive the dissing of my home town. This really is a beautiful and touching little book.
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Format: Hardcover
In his first collection of poetry, Simon Barraclough takes us into his confidence with his personal, powerful, and often wryly amusing poems invoking pop culture references, flights of fancy, global adventures, everyday musings, and larger themes of love, loss and chaos that imbue this collection with a timeless quality. With a keen eye and ear for metaphors that try and make sense of the sometimes painful business of living in the modern world, Barraclough's playful and masterful use of language frequently create memorable and powerful turns of phrase that conjour bold images as varied as a landscape devastated by the nuclear fallout of love in the title poem, to the fragile, storm tossed vessel of Celestial Navigation and an inventive recurring motif of change anchored by the imposing image of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Barraclough's use of form is varied and confident making each poem unique, but throughout, the authors' voice comes through powerfully and with admirable honesty and vulnerability that makes the reader feel privileged to have been confided in, and moved by shared experiences and passions.
Los Alamos Mon Amour is an intriguing, amusing, confident and moving collection from a bold and individual new poetic voice.
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Format: Hardcover
Like the image from the title poem of the author staring steadfastly into the atomic explosion of love's onslaught, what characterises this collection is a constant determination not to flinch from the full force of life's experiences, no matter how painful or joyful they may be. What emerges is a highly poignant and personal journey that addresses a variety of themes, frequently with a salty humour, but most of all with a genuine and affecting honesty and a keen eye for a startling metaphor.

Reading this collection, one cannot help but be gripped by the strength of the imagery, at times both violent and tender, and by the music of the verse. The joy of this book is its power to engage with you directly and leave you with a feeling of heightened perception and of a world glistening with new detail and possibilities - wonderful and very moving.
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