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Ben Hickman

Tony Lopez — Only More So and False Memory

When the experimental British poet Tony Lopez published False Memory (Salt) in 2003, reissued here by Shearsman, influential readers from both sides of the Atlantic heralded a new poetic voice with a strikingly fresh world-view. The set of capacious sonnet sequences, principally made of words and phrases not of the poet’s own creation, are indeed quite unlike other poetic collage in their tonal brio and continual comic entertainment. Covers (2007), its sequel, took a slightly different path, continuing its predecessor’s satire on a more modest scale, with short poems on more-or-less identifiable subjects. Though Covers, as its title suggests, continued the citational method Lopez had broken through with earlier in the decade, it seemed the majestic work promised by the charismatic and expansive cataloguing of False Memory was yet to arrive. 
Only More So is that work, and one of the great British achievements in the prose poem form.
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Date: 6 August 2014

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