'The Mains' (Vanguard Editions 2018)
'The Mains' is the debut collection of poems from Patrick Davidson Roberts. In the book, Roberts creates a world of doppelgängers and possession, darkness and division, where themes of isolation and self-destruction are interrogated to their bone-chilling ends. Drawing on influences as diverse as Francis Bacon, Trent Reznor and James Wright, the split forms used in the collection allow Roberts to showcase his sense of crescendo and control. 'The Mains' is an arresting, assured first collection in which Roberts’ language and imagery take readers to the brink while offering no solace.
'The emotional geography charted in Patrick Davidson Roberts's collection is criss-crossed with fractures and fault lines. Here is a country where there is no safe passage and no sanctuary.' David Harsent
'This is a resonant and necessary collection. The language is sharp, exact, and in places acutely unconsoled. It is haunting, spiritually probing, and brave, with a rigorous rather than reckless bravery. You read it, rapt, and only afterwards realise you have been holding your breath.' Fran Lock
'The syntax of 'The Mains' is pure short-circuit, or neural impulse: a bare bulb set swinging at a crucial reveal, so that stark detail and shadow alternate rapidly. Its compulsive bisections and dissections excise a series of Others – brothers, doppelgängers, alter egos and half-realised selves – with whom the poet must contend. The sustained feat of the collection is to keep time with the feints and clinches of these bouts, fixing them in place as a dynamic record of trauma.' Abi Parry
'Patrick Davidson Roberts’ remarkable sequence "Walker" feels sui generis, quite unlike anything else I’ve ever read.' Rob Selby
Patrick Davidson Roberts was born in 1987 and grew up in Sunderland and Durham. He was editor of The Next Review magazine 2013 – 2017, and is a contributing editor to The Poetry Archive, as well as co-founder and co-editor of Offord Road Books. In 2016 he was nominated for the Melita Hume Prize. He lives and works in London.
You can download our press release here.
Launching 8th January 2018.