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Simon Smith Fifteen Exits (2001)


ISBN 1-902-731-07-7


... breathtaking and very thrilling...

Martin Booth, writer and novelist, shortlisted for the Booker Prize (1998), and editor of Ixion magazine

You're shooting from the hip like a fey New York hombre manqué. London has a lot to answer for.

Anthony Mellors, poet and editor of fragmente:
a journal of contemporary poetics

To make a poem in the shape of a person is no more than appropriate when we all are persons, and whatever is experienced is coloured by a personality: a multiplanar coherence scanned by urgent or languid needs, made vivid by pleasure or pain. Only in such a shape, protecting us like a vessel, could we sail through the dissonant fluctuations and inverted exchanges of the modern landscape without disintegrating altogether.

Fifteen Exits shows us the distorting polychrome glass fragments of the urban mosaic and we will see a picture, binding them all together. What a relief, to find someone who is interested in live experience rahter than the arbitrary, distanced, monotony of an experiment. All round, mud-flats of tedious confusion and easily refuted self-assertion are filled with unsilent poets.

This is an exceptionally beautiful book, alternating expertly between the flaneur's quizzical intelligence and pure lyric. A mastery of pace has arranged the whole: where we see a ripple of change at every line yet every one is leisurely and contenting. Somehow the author has, by moving at exactly the same speed as the metropolitan vortex, managed to catch its glittering psychological possibilities and reduce them to a pattern.

Andrew Duncan


The basic facts are these: born Redruth in 1961, brought up in smalltown Hertfordshire, educated at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Smith has read his poetry to audiences at the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry (C. C. C. P.), and in London at Subvoice and the Twelve Bar Club.

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