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This review is taken from PN Review 89, Volume 19 Number 3, January - February 1993.

BY INDIRECTION Mark Ford, Landlocked (Chatto) £6.95

Mark Ford's Landlocked is one of the most refreshing books of poetry I have seen in years. When was the last time you actually felt refreshed? Landlocked will do it for you. Waves and waves of refreshment coming at you, like those 'curiously strong' mints you have (or used to have) in England. We know about 'strong' poets; attention must now be paid to the 'curiously strong', like James Tate and Charles Simic in America, and England's Anthony Howell. Peter Robinson (like Ford currently residing in Kyoto), especially in his recent collection Leaf Viewing.

Before continuing I ought to mention that I've met Ford several times, twice in England and twice in America, where his parents have been living for the past decade. More to the point, he has written a dissertation on my poetry at Oxford, a copy of which he sent me about six months ago, enclosing Landlocked as a kind of afterthought. Thus it might be thought that a conflict of interest taints my favourable view of his verse, though I haven't read the dissertation yet - for all I know there may be harsh evaluations lurking in its imposing bulk. Nonetheless, literary conspiracy buffs should take note, and perhaps read no further.

However, I don't see much explicit evidence of my influence or anyone's else on his work. It's true there are echoes - which Michael Hofmann made rather too much of in his partly stern TLS review, finding Ford to ...

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