Shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year
Two words, hope and doubt, dominate Not All Honey, the seventh full collection by Roddy Lumsden. These awkward cousins appear repeatedly as the poet 'fathoms the ingredient for happy' despite a tendency for the 'terrific melancholy' which named his last book.
Roddy Lumsden is one of the most inventive poets writing today, always keen to explore and invent forms and to challenge the musical limits of language. The collection veers between sequence and stand-alone poems, the recurring subjects including viscous liquids, popular music, folkloric beasts and relationships and friendships with younger people. This book also reproduces Lumsden's acclaimed limited edition short collection The Bells of Hope which, in 51 short and exuberant 'kernel poems', records the poet's first ever year lived alone
'Not All Honey may not be all sweetness but it’s all a delight to consume. Lumsden typically is tricksy and evasive, juggling, acrobatic. His professional portmanteau full of linguistic surprises. Yet, he has reached a kind of Dantean point in his poetic life which makes him suddenly offer devastating clarities that justify the fireworks.' - Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year judging panel
‘This latest offering is a turning point in the poet's career – he has allowed himself vulnerability and authenticity whilst sacrificing none of the artistry and verbal dexterity upon which he has built his reputation.’ – Phil Bowen, The Sutton Review
‘There is a level of talent that will ransom any project in any school. On the one hand, it will be interesting to see where Lumsden goes next; on the other, he’s so good that it hardly matters.’ – D.H. Tracy, Poetry
‘One of the best poets writing in English on the planet today.’ – Don Share, Squandermania