In December 1999 Shoestring Press published Reaching for a Stranger, which complements
the earlier collection, Learning Not to Touch, providing a bridge to this, his first
The four sections of Outstripping Gravity read as entities preoccupied respectively
with rootedness, relationships, notions of escape, the imponderable. But cross-related
parallels and contrasts will be found to draw the parts into a whole.
Earlier versions of some of these poems have appeared in: Agenda, Envoi, Iota, Leicester
Poetry Soc. Anthologies'98 & '99, Orbis, Other Poetry, Poetry Nottingham, Poetry
Now, Prop, Seam, Staple, Tabla '98, Tears in the Fence, The Affectionate Punch, The
Penniless Press, The Rialto, The Swansea Review, This Is. Thanks are due to Shoestring
Press for permission to include two poems from Reaching for a Stranger, and to Tom
Tolkien for assembling some of these poems in publishable form (as Turn of the Tide)
for the East Midlands Arts New Voices Tour (1998)
The author is especially grateful to John Forth and Paul McLoughlin for their detailed
and challenging appraisals and suggestions. The cover illustration is from a painting
by Dorothy Harding in The Book of Myths by Amy Cruse (Harrap:1925) Thiassi carries
off Loki attached to the stick with which he attacked the disguised storm giant.
'Two errors: first, to take everything literally; secondly, to take everything spiritually...'
(Blaise Pascal: Pensees:1670)