A post-modern ‘Biographia Literaria’

by Simon Collings

Allen Fisher’s magnum opus, Gravity as a consequence of shape, is not the kind of poetry book you read once from cover to cover and discard. Thirty years in the making, and nearly 600 pages long, the work spans a wide range of subject matter and styles. A ‘long-scattered score of broken processes’ is how Fisher describes it in the poem ‘Woodpecker’. It’s a work which demands significant levels of engagement from the reader, but with much there to reward those who take the time to penetrate its complexities.  Fisher is one of a small group of poets in Britain creating serious work, and doing so outside of what Charles Bernstein calls ‘official verse culture’. A few brief comments on the book which I wrote for Stride Magazine can be found here. I can also recommend the excellent volume of interviews with Fisher, edited by Andrew Duncan, Marvels of Lambeth.