POET OCTOBER 2015: BEN ARMSTRONG

Guest Poetry Curator Alison Solomon introduces Ben Armstrong as the showcased poet of the month October on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.

Alison: ‘I chose Ben’s poetry, because it is very descriptive and naturalistic. I specifically enjoy the clever use of line breaks in the poems, and the rhythms in the poems.’

Ben Armstrong is a poet from the Black Country who aims to bridge the gap between the hyperreal and the surreal with his evocative and dynamic pieces. Ben: ‘In my poetry I aim to weave together colourful imagery and dark undertones to create Lynchian pastiches as beautiful as they are disorientating. Poems are often complex puzzles to solve [or not], riddled with unconventional language, jarring line breaks, footnotes and hidden meanings, with full collections supporting themes and characters across multiple works in Chinese whispers.’

‘A preoccupation with life, death and various ways of living [dead or otherwise] emerges as a key element of all my writing as Beckett’s nihilism clashes heads with the transformative and life-affirming verse of Wordsworth and the romantics. This fascination with the way we live is the fabric which stitches together the vast landscape of surreal and disconcerting imagery, the message that we as people are the lens through which the world can exact its influence.’

As Featured Poet of the Month for October on Poet’s Corner, Ben will be debuting pieces from his collection “…perennial”, a culmination of twenty four months of work which took him to seaside locations, vast open spaces and on spiritual journeys in search of meaning. The collection is characterised by its bizarre take on travel writing – it itself is an island memoir of dramatic proportions – which twists and turns through fragments of a life both lost and found in the oceans’ wilderness.

Ben: “Rules are imagination’s limits”

Please generously share your feedback with Ben, by commenting on the poems.

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