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Everyone Turns
by Bob Cooper
(pub. 2017)

It’s been forty years since Bob Cooper’s first pamphlet was published, and a full fifteen since his first full collection. For decades he has delighted poetry audiences and this, his second collection, gathers together some of the best loved poems from his most recent pamphlet along with a slew of new work. These poems burst with colourful characters: a murderer on the run, a man with a full body tattoo, a performance artist with removable genitals, an embalmer and a famous novelist who shoplifts. Yet they also deal with ordinary people – in high spirits, or down on their luck: pub drunks, a victim of domestic abuse and a dying patient feature alongside the pub quiz candidate who knows all the answers and a young Ginger Baker composing rhythms on the Tube. Straightforward yet sometimes surreal, tender and ruminative, this collection has been worth the wait.

Praise for Everyone Turns

“We have waited a long time for this book.  Compassionate, penetrating and unsentimental, these poems inhabit the lives and locations of the people who speak and act through them in such a way that we are drawn into directly transformational encounters.  The language is idiomatic and convincing while refusing to court attention to words for their own sake or to the sensibilities of the writer.  Bob Cooper is one of our most individual and impressive poets. He deserves to be widely read.”

Peter Bennet


“Sad, sometimes darkly funny, and always perfectly crafted, this is real poetry. Cooper illuminates the lives of the lonely, the desperate and broken with astounding compassion. In the darkest dirtiest corners of cities, he finds truth and surprising beauty.”

Angela Readman

A Candidate For Our Pub Quiz Team

We soon know she knows things we didn’t know we wanted to
about Jupiter and its sixty moons and how our earth may
have had two, how every statue of the Buddha, grinning or not,
has large ear lobes and longings are revealed by the elderly
as much as by the young.

Keeping secrets, she says, is something she’s not done since she
was four and Swahili’s the best language for praying,
for love songs, and telling lies. Then when asked about friendship
she’s stumped. “I’ve not had one longer or deeper than when
we talk like this.” Maybe because... I begin

while we watch her adjust her hearing aid - but she’s not for
listening as she declares how Rubik Cube prizewinners, and
she’s beaten the best, can be as dyslexic as Einstein
or as amorous as Johan Sebastian Bach when he’d had
as much to drink as she intends to have tonight.

(from Everyone Turns)


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