“This London brings us the living and the dead, the lutefisk and the vindaloo, Joseph Merrick and the veterans of the Somme. It gives us the Middle Kingdom and South Dakota and the Imperial War Museum. Roman centurions and Halal delicatessens. The Luftwaffe and Saint Paul’s Cathedral. This London is a generous, nuanced collection which invites the reader to reconsider the known and the familiar, to walk the streets of a great city and to contemplate what it means to be alive–not beyond the dead, but among them.
–Brian Turner, author of Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise
Two thousand years ago a tiny village was founded on the marshy banks of the River Thames. Since then, this outpost of a crumbling Roman Empire has become an international city, a magnetic intersection between cultures and histories. London was once the capital for millions of colonized people around the globe, including—for nearly 200 years—a land that would eventually become the United States. For good or bad, our tongues move with words and ideas that bubbled up from this mighty city. In this new collection, Patrick Hicks explores connections between history and place, colonialism and language, visiting and belonging, and he points out the hidden streets and personalities of a city that changed the world.
Now in its third printing, This London has received rave critical reviews for its accessibility, its compassion for the past, and its ability to act as a type of “poetic guide book” to a notorious and celebrated city. Author William Oxley writes: “A book of poems about London by any non-Londoner has to be of interest. But a book of poems about London by a ‘foreigner’ has to be of special interest [...] with his clear-eyed perception and the ability to focus on the apposite and illuminating details, [Hicks] has something of Chaucer’s and Defoe’s gift in his writing.”