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Sheer poetry

Macmillan has celebrated past World Book Days by publishing cheap and cheerful poetry collections, Larks With Sharks in 1998 and The Word Party in 1999. The latest WBD collection, The Great Escape (pound;1.95), containing previously unpublished work from 28 poets, is its best yet. The eponymous poem by Nick Toczek (who also has a new collection, Never Stare At A Grizzly Bear, pound;2.99) is a tour de force about an escape from London Zoo, with more than 40 lines all ending with "oo".

Other highlights include a marvellus short poem about autumn sunshine by Valerie Bloom, and a wintry moon poem from Adrian Henri.

Jude Brigley, the editor of The Poet's House, an anthology from the Welsh publisher Pont (pound;5.50), places poems in The Poet's Lounge, The Poet's Rucksack, The Poet's Home Videos etc. The varied selection, ranging from Gerard Manley Hopkins, through Idris Davies to Gareth Owen and the Stereophonics, makes this an anthology richly deserving of the attention such unique organisation seeks to elicit.


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