Publication date: 19th July 2018
Robert Peake’s second full collection of poems is about weathering storms—personal, political, psychological—in our present-day climate of chaos. These are matters of life or death, and Cyclone urges us to consider what the ill wind may bring, and how we will survive it.
Peake’s acutely tuned poems bring eloquence and urgency to matters of profound devastation. With shattering delicacy, he writes of personal loss, of grief and the long aftermath; “whenever the wind sprays into my face, I taste salt of your absence”.
These poems also hazard an eye at the global weather and find a world in turmoil, wild with unreliable news and terrible forecasts. Manifesting between the storms is the man with the kindest face. Is he here to save us or warn us? A guide or a harbinger? As these brilliantly-visioned poems suggest, nothing is certain in the eye of the storm. Nevertheless, there is some form of consolation and rescue: “He seems at home in this tempest. He seems happy”.
‘Cyclone takes the strengths of Robert Peake’s previous work - candour, intensity, a hard-won wit - and enters the storm, in search of an answer to the question raised by his heartbreaking ‘Why I Should Be Over It By Now’. Built around four remarkable sequences, this new collection takes him into the most difficult of territories - grief and parental loss - to recover the possibility, however fugitive, of healing. The ‘Cyclone’ here is both personal and political. In such turbulent and shrill times, this is his most powerful work to date.' - Michael Symmons Roberts