Fine Welsh poet returns. The Guardian recently summed up his appeal very well:
Can a poet be popular and critically acclaimed? Jonathan Edwards’s 2014 debut My Family and Other Superheroes won the Costa poetry award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice award, combining comedy and a surreal touch in reimagining the familiar to winsome effect. His poems are easy-going but subtly formal, clever but accessible, and his follow-up, Gen (Seren, £9.99), won’t disappoint. Here comes everyone: Harry Houdini on Newport Bridge, Coleridge chancing a lottery ticket, Tanya’s house party with “music / pouring from the chimney”. There is something of the late Michael Donaghy about Edwards’s simpatico voice, and like Donaghy he is at his best when he leads us astray. “Reader, if you take my hand / and step outside with me now”: the poet nudges, and we follow. Touching character portraits reiterate why Edwards has won plaudits, but the acerbic edge that pervades Gen also suggests a new direction.