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This poem is taken from PN Review 56, Volume 13 Number 6, July - August 1987.

Secker & Warburg will launch its new poetry list on 10 August at the Edinburgh Book Festival. The first four books are: A Jump Start by James Lasdun, Legend of True Labour by Simon Lapington and The Moon Disposes: Poems 1954-1987 and In the Hall of the Saurians by Peter Redgrove.


Born in 1958, James Lasdun read English at Bristol University. He has been co-editor of the literary magazine Straight Lines, and his poems, stories and reviews have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, the Literary Review, Encounter, Firebird and the Fiction Magazine. For his poetry he has received an Eric Gregory Award and was runner-up in both the 1983 National Poetry Competition and the 1985 Arvon/Sotheby Poetry Competition. He won the 1986 Dylan Thomas Award for his collection of stories, The Silver Age, which was published by Jonathan Cape and Penguin. He is currently teaching at Columbia and Princeton. A Jump Start is his first collection of poetry.


Born in 1953, Simon Lapington left school at sixteen and worked for a year before going to read English at Lincoln College Oxford. He now works as a National Trust Warden on mountain estates in north Wales. His poetry has appeared in the Anglo-Welsh Review, Poetry Wales, Tribune and Stand. Legend of True Labour is his first book.


Born in 1932, Peter Redgrove was educated at Taunton School, Somerset, and Queens' College Cambridge. He was a founder editor of the literary magazine Delta and a founder-member of 'The Group'. He has held various positions, including Visiting Poet to Buffalo University, Gregory Fellow in Poetry at Leeds University and Resident Author at Falmouth School of Art. He is also a novelist, a playwright and co-author (with Penelope Shuttle) of The Wise Wound, a revolutionary study of the human fertility cycle. An extension of this work, The Black Goddess and the Sixth Sense, will be published this year. He lives with his wife and daughter in Cornwall.

Peter Redgrove's The Moon Disposes: Poems 1954-1987 gathers together the best of thirty-three years' work. In the Hall of the Saurians, which is published simultaneously, is his twelfth full-length collection of poetry.

from A JUMP START, published by Secker & Warburg on 10 August

Buying a Dress

Thirty a day and enough gin to float
A goldfish, Guinness sluicing down her throat,
The barman's spaniel, one damp eye a-cock,
Wiggling his nose like a toe in a sock
As he watched her mechanic's hands tip back

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