If All the World and Love Were Young by Sexton, Stephen

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ISBN 9780141990026 – Penguin Press – Penguin UK Paperback 112 pp – August 2019

Stephen Sexton lives in Belfast. His poems have appeared in Granta, Poetry London, and Best British Poetry 2015. His pamphlet, Oils, was the Poetry Book Society’s Winter Pamphlet Choice. He was the winner of the 2016 National Poetry Competition, the recipient of an ACES award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and was awarded an Eric Gregory Prize in 2018.

The exhilarating debut from award-winning poet Stephen Sexton.

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Memories of going ‘through the looking-glass’ into the land of video games are some of the most evocative of all childhood. In these poems we are rushed back to years spent playing Super Mario World, a place where people are small and flowers are large, a place of treacherous labyrinths and heart-stopping leaps of faith, where the materiality, wonder and peril of that world bleeds into our own as the young player bravely travels with his mother on the journey of her life-ending illness.

Drawing on traditions of elegy and pastoral, this is a daring, moving and lyrically beautiful exploration of memory, grief and the unreal.