Tom French’s fifth book of poems, The Last Straw, reveals an ever quickening sense of what a poem might be — and do. With its capacity to move his readers and listeners and to register ordinary moments in a luminous glow, it’s no wonder his work attracts an ever growing host of admirers.
‘In this collection, when I’m not witnessing maimings and getting electrocuted on building sites, I’m eavesdropping on bridge painters, hanging around public houses, and failing abysmally to leave behind me the bog I knew. I appear to be trying to get to the bottom of what I learned there. Whatever coasts I find myself on offer some small relief. Spare a thought for me — staying out of the sun, reading, channel surfing, counting the days until the flight home.’