Some nice things people have had to say about Claremont Road…
A valuable voyage, tossed and memory-tumbled over the battleground … ‘self-medicated’ visions of entropy and sensual returns.
Commited social rebels sharing their lives with down and outs, the homeless, druggies and drinkers, in a loose-knit, tentative community. Dub rhythms (or what Hawkins calls ‘loose-boned blues’) and personal memories drive this collection along. It’s original and moving and I look forward to seeing where Paul Hawkins’ poetry squats next.
The stuff from which cults are made.
Not the kind of poetry the taxman was talking to Mayakovsky about.
A pamphlet of protest and ‘broken piano lungs’ that showcases Paul Hawkins’ extraordinary range. Both an experimental and unflinching snapshot of a now lost community, Hawkins sure-footedly sidesteps clichés of romantic dilapidation. This is ‘a survival jive’ for our times.
There’s an unflinching, forensic gaze at work here that holds you spellbound; you don’t want to look but can’t help it. This is the heart of darkness in the east end of London during the Thatcher years: depression, addiction, evictions; the tide and time of love, sex, the bitter fight to overcome. Although it is dark, it is not entirely hopeless, there are moments of tenderness and unity that build a barricade against despondency. The poetry is rich and lyrical, with a probing experimentalism that challenges both the subject and the form, from sonnets to collage and found poems. This is a joy-ride of a pamphlet, so strap yourself in and feel the buzz.
Reviews of Claremont Road
published by erbacce-press (December 2013)
cover artwork by Sarer Scotthorne