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Assurances Reviews

Assurances by J. O. Morgan


J. O. Morgan

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 7 Jun 2018
ISBN: 9781787330856

**SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST COLLECTION**A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, Assurances begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually assured destruction.

1 Prize for Assurances

Costa Book Awards
2018 Category Winner

Winner: Best Poetry Book

Costa Judges: "We were all gripped by this polyphonic book-length poem and dazzled by its originality and inventiveness."


5 stars out of 5
Stuart Kelly
21 Jun 2018

"I seriously doubt I will read a more significant book of poetry this year."

This book manages to be both innovative and empathetic. I seriously doubt I will read a more significant book of poetry this year. The finale is truly affecting, a plangent and profound speck of light. Speck, by the way, is the book’s favourite word, and a gloriously ambiguous one – the pilots are specking out, there are specks in the eye, specks of cloud and so forth. Trapped between “dark cacophony” and “all heavenly spirals” it is absolutely about the human. “What need for slime to learn to swim? / to stand? what need to speak?” Every need, I think.