Alec Finlay - Be My Reader


Alec Finlay - Be My Reader

Paperback, 86pp, 8.5x5.5

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Be My Reader is a gathering of texts made and found by Finlay over the past two decades, touching on philosophy, landscape, dance, football, travel and technology. Affectionate, celebratory and sensitive by turns, it includes such key texts as his popular homage to Robert Creeley, 'I Know A Poem', and the long poem-mapping of Wittgenstein's house in Norway. Other poems were composed for art projects in civic spaces and landscapes. These are interspersed with pitch-perfect renderings of off-key phrases overheard and chanced upon. Formally adventurous and restlessly curious, Be My Reader is a unique confluence of contemporary generative forms and the lyric voice.


"Finlay's ear is fine-tuned to the striking phrase, whether casually uttered or carefully honed. If much of his art is in the way he frames and illuminates the found and the given, he also excels as a maker of phrases, and of forms. Haiku-like brevities sparkle like sunlight on waves, while in the extended sequences such delight shades into an acknowledgement of the doubts and vulnerabilities inherent in all processes of renewal." —Ken Cockburn

"Giving the poems room to breathe, to come alive, is Finlay's art. A formal inventiveness, a playful investigation is quietly, masterfully, applied. In these poems—minimal and enriched, lyrical and experimental—Finlay treads easily through his chosen landscapes. The ever-present wonder and the fine musicality reveal him to be a philosopher-poet of play. Oh, and the poems are funny, too." —Gerry Loose

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