Todd Turner’s second book, Thorn, is an expansive and intimate collection whose poems open out with a strong and developed voice to encompass a broad range of subject matter. There are odes and elegies, stunning evocations of birds and animals, a sequence of elegant engagements with the work of inﬂuential poets, the rough and tumble of personal history and deep immersions in place. This is a poet with a reverence for the power of language who engages the large and small particulars of the world with intense resolve and resounding clarity.
Poetry can be understood as a visceral way of using language and Todd Turner’s second book goes in this direction. He has a wider experience to draw on than most poets – a horseman and boxer on one side, a craftsman who creates artistic jewellery for a living on the other. He is better read than most contemporary poets and is respectful of the tradition which he draws on freely. He seems to me outstanding among his generation.
These poems are sensitive but tough and intelligent at the same time.