Books

Human Time

Human Time

2020
Voicemail Press
ISBN  978-1-9163680-0-2

BUY THE BOOK
For international shipping costs and large quantity orders please contact Duncan Forbes here.

‘I’ve had several intensely pleasurable readings of Human Time and it seems to me to be your most successful and complete collection, hugely varied in style, tone, verse forms (how you can play with them!) and subject-matter, and capable of inducing hilarity, astonishment, awe and sadness with the turn of a page. As always the serious sits side by side with the comic, the local with the exotic, and the reader is unclear what’s coming next, but knows that whatever it is, it will hold the interest and stimulate the senses, the tear-ducts and whatever physical mechanism triggers laughter. There are so many brilliant lines and deft turns of phrase, such a mastery of language, whether everyday, arcane or recherché. Altogether a treat to read.’
– STEPHEN STUART-SMITH, DIRECTOR OF ENITHARMON

Lifelines

Lifelines

2009

BUY THE BOOK
For international shipping costs and large quantity orders please contact Duncan Forbes here.

A lively and versatile poet, Duncan Forbes can deal with life’s events in modes both comic and tragic. With his eye for detail and strong understanding of traditions, he approaches the enduring themes of poetry in fresh and contemporary ways.

‘His work offer[s] painterly observation, humour, emotional honesty and lively effects of sound, wordplay and metre.’
– Sarah Johnson in Literature Online

Vision Mixer

Vision Mixer

2008

BUY THE BOOK
For international shipping costs and large quantity orders please contact Duncan Forbes here.

The poems in the collection explore a wide range of themes, forms, freedoms and responsibilities and their moods vary from entertainingly light verses to seriously questing meditations in search of enlightenment, giving new voice to fresh visions. He also contemplates the natural world with a wry intensity and in each of these poems he commemorates our fragile mortality together with its quest for significance beyond signs.

Voice Mail

Voice Mail

2002 (reprinted 2004)

BUY THE BOOK
For international shipping costs and large quantity orders please contact Duncan Forbes here.

‘a poet of real if unflashy accomplishment, whose work deserves to be better known.’
– Vernon Scannell in the Sunday Telegraph

‘While dipping in to these voices offers rewards, the cumulative effect of reading from the beginning is extraordinary… This is a lively, varied and hugely enjoyable collection which will appeal not only to poetry lovers, but also to sceptics.’
– Frank Startup in The Librarian

‘Diverse and wide-ranging in style and content, the poems collected here none the less share the urge of ‘Father’ to speak directly to the reader. Thus there is a profoundly humane and humanist concern throughout the collection purposefully confirmed in the closing poems… In short: poetry matters.’
– Mark Moore

‘A multiplicity of voices characterizes this fine collection … His ability to make the familiar unfamiliar captures a profound sense of ‘Why this?’ … Forbes is a master of the striking image … And he has a strong sense of the elemental roots of the sacred… Speaking the infinite in the everyday, the unique in the endlessly quotable quotidian, and with wit, too: that’s some voice.’
– Stephen Elves in Connections

Taking Liberties

Taking Liberties

1993

Out of print

Try Abe Books for titles out of print

‘The range of [his] intelligence is formidable, yet never self-regarding except in a mildly deprecatory manner. Formal elegance is the least of it, for lucid precision finds ways to combine sensual appreciation with argument … the ability to pack intensity into a short formal poem is a hallmark of his style, and compassion seeps through without being underlined.
– Bill Turner in Poetry Review

‘These poems are wise, witty and sophisticated … Duncan Forbes writes civilised poetry in a civilised way.’
–Jim Burns in Ambit

Public and Confidential

Public and Confidential

1989

Out of print

Try Abe Books for titles out of print

‘Duncan Forbes has a good sense of reality, and of what Thomas Hardy called “life’s little ironies”. He does well with the short formal poem, often with a sting in the tail. Good lines are common: ‘All stones look semi-precious on the beach’, and he knows a bit more than many Nature poets … A lot of enjoyment may be had from these poems.’
– Gavin Ewart

‘He is also a deeply serious poet, for whom a world of innocence daily disintegrates into violence and horror, in such events as a man catching a fish or exterminating an ant’s nest. His poems trap the multitudinous ordinarinesses of everyday life, and make them bite. These are densely written and disturbing poems.’
– U.A.Fanthorpe

August Autumn

August Autumn

1984

Out of print

Try Abe Books for any of the books which are out of print.

‘Duncan Forbes’s poems were noticed by various reviewers of Faber’s Poetry Introduction 5. The grace, wit, intelligence and touching sentiment of that earlier selection can now be seen augmented and expanded in this first full-length book. August Autumn properly introduces a distinctive and most attractive new voice.’
– Anthony Thwaite

Anthologies

Poems by Duncan Forbes have appeared in the following anthologies:

New Poetry 4 and 5
The Penguin Book of Light Verse edited by Gavin Ewart (1980)
The Faber Book of Blue Verse (1990)
The Faber Book of Movie Verse (1993)
Forward Book of Poetry (1993)
Poem for the Day (1994)
Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry   ed. Peter Forbes (1999)
Being Alive ed. Neil Astley (Bloodaxe 2004)
The Times/Stephen Spender translation prize anthologies 2006 and 2010  available to read at www.stephenspender.org
Penguin Poems for Love ed. Laura Barber (2009)
First Sixty: The Acumen Anthology ed. Patricia Oxley (2010)
Funny Ha-Ha Funny Peculiar (Bloodaxe 2015)
100 Prized Poems (Faber & Faber 2016)
The Poetry Pharmacy ed. William Sieghart (2017)
The Vanishing ed. Shae Spreafico (Elsinore Books 2017)
The Heart’s Granary  Compiled by Lawrence Sail (Enitharmon 2017)

The Vanishing

The Vanishing

Edited by Shae Spreafico (Elsinore Books 2017)

The Poetry Pharmacy

The Poetry Pharmacy

Edited by William Sieghart (2017)

100 Prized Poems

100 Prized Poems

Faber & Faber 2016

Funny Ha-Ha Funny Peculiar

Funny Ha-Ha Funny Peculiar

Bloodaxe 2015

Faber Poetry Introduction 5

Faber Poetry Introduction 5

1982

‘Duncan Forbes is a real discovery.’
– Vernon Scannell