The Strangest Thankyou

My first book of poems, The Strangest Thankyou, is out now via Cultured Llama.

Available for £8.00 from Cultured Llama and Amazon.

‘Richard Thomas’s debut poetry collection embraces the magical and the mundane, the exotic and the everyday, the surreal rooted in reality. Grand poetic themes of love, death and great lives are cut with surprising twists and playful use of language, shape, form and imagery. The poet seeks ‘an array of wonder’ in “Dig” and spreads his ‘riches’ throughout The Strangest ­Thankyou.’

Paperback; 96pp; 203×127 mm; 978-0-9568921-5-7; August 2012; Cultured Llama; £8.00

And here’s what the people are saying:

‘The poems of Richard Thomas are dynamic and innovative… There’s an intellect here which is happy to work with all kinds of emotions, and to explore the world he finds himself in through both the real and the surreal. His poems work on the page and in performance, not an easy thing to achieve. In Richard ­Thomas’s case, it’s often through an innate lightness of touch.’

– Simon Williams, author of Quirks

‘Richard Thomas is a real poet. His language is freshly squeezed from the poetry tube, rich in imagery, linguistically inventive, with veins of surrealism, romanticism (romanticism is not dead!) and compassion running through it. And yet it is conversational in tone, and there is humour in it. This is a young man’s poetry, exploratory, questioning, concerned with the truth even when apparently far off on a piece of fantasy. He knows where he is going. But he understands that what is important in poetry, and life, is not where you are going, but where you are.’

– James Turner, author of Forgeries and co-hosted Exeter’s monthly poetry event Uncut Poets

‘Richard Thomas loves language, his work is passionate and ­occasionally unsettling. He writes poetry with a sense of ­surrealist theatre, poems that are full of surprises. His writing offers unusual stories, visionary explorations and humour, told with steady confidence.’

– Rose Cook, South West poet, co-founder of One Night Stanza and ­Dangerous Cardigans, author of Taking Flight (Oversteps Books)

‘He has long been one to watch, and with this strong, diverse collection Richard Thomas is now one to read. And re-read.’

– Matt Harvey, author of Where the Earwigs Dare (Green Books) and The Hole in the Sum of My Parts (Poetry Trust), Presenter of The Wondermentalist Caberet on Radio 4

Since catching my attention with his breath-of-fresh air rhythms, Beat-style flow and vivid surrealism, I have paid close attention to the growing body of work and the reputation of this new young poet.

What keeps me returning to Richard Thomas’s work  – listening  or reading being equally enjoyable –  is the ongoing freshness that each poem offers in vivid visual impression, and passion from being alive in, and expressing from, the immediate moment.

Somewhere in our broad poetry heritage Richard has tuned into a particular resonance of cool, and his poems arise from that. They echo more of the Beat influences  – the immediacy of Snyder or Ginsberg than of any obvious British influence other than familiar engagements with places or forces in nature – or perhaps this is just what my own biased minds-eye sees. Much of his use of language, punctuation, rhythmic structure, and consequently breath and flow creates impressionistic, abstract places to look into.

And amidst these forms there is also a sensitive emotional intelligence, the sense of a mature man emerging through the wondrous and sometimes naïve perspective of youth, nurtured by, and amidst, and because of connections to the nature of nature itself.

This quote from the end of the first poem in the collection ‘The Strangest Thank You’, titled Nature, sums this phenomena up beautifully:

“…and sunshine theories in my burning ears. Ah, gentle nature, how I long to be a part of you, take your oath and make a grand old oak. “

– Lucy Lepchani, author of The Beckoning Wild (Acumen)

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