Robert's first full collection, London Poems, is published by Wet Zebra, and forms the basis of the show. The collection consists of 42 pieces. There are a few longer ones, but most stretch to no more than a single page.
In ‘Man and Boy’ Robert, Maurice and Ed will read, or sing, about a dozen pieces. Most will come from London Poems, but there may be some newer ones too. In and between there’ll be some banter, and no two shows will be the same.
We'll be bumping all Robert's social media coverage, and will relay any live streaming on Facebook or via Twitter's Periscope. But nothing beats the live experience, as several of Robert's superb readings at our pop-up LitFests have proved.
We'll be adding an Amazon link and a multi-format e-book option via the Wet Zebra site very shortly.
In a recent review of the collection in DANTE, the arts magazine, Jane Bowen writes: “What gives these lines more poignancy than some other collections is the simplicity of writing, shorn of excessive adjectives. Robert Cole avoids the common traps of overdoing hackneyed metaphor and alliteration. Some of his best poems are spare and economic, like he has come along with Occam’s Razor and excised everything apart from the essential.” Bowen added: “This is an impressive work with compressed power, arresting images and unflinching honesty.”
One kind Amazon reviewer wrote that Robert’s work shows: “an underlying sense of joy even in the face of sadness; a combination difficult to achieve.”
Robert’s poetry is reflective. He writes about what poets have always written about: love and loss. As a father of four and a devoted son, Robert brings a lot of his family into the work. Elsewhere he’s observational, building rhythmical and metrical thought experiments. The material is original, powerful and bursting with heart. In his poetry he respects the disciplines of form and is mindful of the skills and empathies of great poets including Catullus and Keats via Emily Dickinson, Philip Larkin, TS Eliot and John Cooper Clarke.