Bargain book: Poets going cheap

Evening Post, 5 Jan 2006

Kid Simon Armitage, Nottingham Bargain Bookshop, £1

We don’t normally feature poetry on these pages, but come on — a quid? You can take the risk. This is Armitage’s second collection, from 1992, and marks the moment he moved from being a relative unknown to appearing in your children’s English lessons. It shows off his style fully formed: northern, conversational, even blunt-seeming, but heading off in surprising directions and growing out of surprising places. The title poem is Robin’s reply to Batman, after being dumped, and another highlight is in the voice of a football-ground pickpocket. Try it and see.