Identity Parade presents new British and Irish poetry at a time of great vibrancy and variety. It is the first anthology to comprehensively represent the generation of poets who have emerged since the mid-1990s. Eclectic, diverse and wide-ranging in scope, the book fully reflects the climate of “the pluralist now”. It offers the work of 85 highly individual and distinctive talents whose poems display the breadth of styles and approaches characteristic of our current poetry.
These writers are prospering all over Britain and Ireland – from Shetland to Aberystwyth, from Gravesend to Galway – as well as further afield. Many new and undersung poets appear alongside this generation’s most celebrated names, and probably for the first time in any major poetry anthology, more women writers than men are featured. All the poets have either published first collections within the past 15 years or make their debut within the next year.
Identity Parade is as accessible to the new reader as to the aficionado, with each poet introduced by a biographical note also covering their themes and concerns, plus an author photograph. This is the essential starting place for anyone interested in the poetry of here and now.
'This important and timely book offers a fascinating window on to the wide variety of poetry being produced in Britain and Ireland at the moment… It's an exhilarating anthology, its tone one of magnanimous pluralism. Not since Edward Lucie Smith's British Poetry Since 1945, published by Penguin in 1970, has one anthology embraced such a wide range of both experimental and formalist styles' – Charles Bainbridge, Guardian
'Lumsden hosts a supremely eclectic party for 85 "new" British and Irish poets… [including] generation-definers such as Daljit Nagra and Kate Clanchy, Colette Bryce and Alice Oswald, and a host of guests who will count – for many readers – as smart or seductive discoveries' – Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'The impressive chorus of Roddy Lumsden's excellent Identity Parade...The selection has a freshness and a wit to outlive its own topicality' – Natalie Whittle, Financial Times
'Imagination, intelligence, scope, ambition, technical power and musicality: these, rather than attitudes or stylistic similarity, are what mark these writers out' - Sean O'Brien, Poetry Review
This video presents a line-up of ten poets reading from Roddy Lumsden's Identity Parade at its launch event in Foyles Bookshop in London: Matthew Caley ('For Howard Devoto'), John Stammers ('Black Dog'), Siobhán Campbell ('Almost in Sight'), Claire Crowther ('Lost Child'), Andy Brown ('A Poem of Gifts'), Catherine Smith ('The Fathers'), Clare Pollard ('The Panther'), Chris McCabe ('Poem in Black Ink'), Katherine Pierpoint ('Burning the Door') and Tim Wells ('Comin' a Dance'), selected from 21 poets who took part in the event on 24 March 2010.