Intensely observant, gravely acute, these poems are a true achievement. In Simon West we have a poet who knows how to weight a line, how to savour a phrase. But he also proffers the nimble wit of the title poem, and of “Faute de mieux”. West is a laureate of darkness and a lyrical quester after light. — Chris Wallace-Crabbe
I loved these poems by Simon West for their awake and responsive lines. He has an elegant sensual feel for the language and an equally elegant imagination. He has a number of fine gifts: graceful cadences that reach right into the heart of his subjects, and a charming ability with form that tells you each poem has been composed with utmost care. His work is surprising, precise and dexterous. — Judith Beveridge
Shortlisted for the 2007 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize
Winner of the William Baylebridge Prize
Simon West was born in 1974 in Melbourne, where he currently teaches Italian. In 2004 he held an Australian Young Poets Fellowship. He has been published in Australia and USA. First Names is his first collection of poetry.