Bonjour Mr Inshaw


“The deal offered in this collection is a poet writing with great strength, reinforced by paintings that are, in the broadest and deepest sense of the word, delightful.” ~ Keith Hutson, Poetry Salzburg Review 36 (Winter 2020)

“Bonjour Mr Inshaw is a gem of a book, a meeting of exquisite words and brushstrokes, of two artists dedicated to the pursuit of truth and beauty, and of two friends, reminding us that for like-minded souls, the absent years are like blinks of an eye.” ~ James Harpur, Agenda, Vol. 53, No. 4

“This is a beautiful collection, fitting for such strange times. Breathe them in, be dazzled by the images” ~ Louise Warren, The High Window

“The stillness of Inshaw’s focus upon more than the moment is complimented by the way in which Peter Robinson’s poems note the depth of the present’s conversation with the past” ~ Ian Brinton, Tears in the Fence

“there is a heightened particularity to Inshaw’s paintings … a Rilkean focus on what ‘The Kennet’ calls “being here”. Look at Inshaw’s ‘Tree and Moon’, for example, and Robinson’s accompanying poem, ‘At Slader’s Yard’, associates the two artists (and their art forms) in the quality of their ‘noticing’” Martyn Crucefix

SKU: 978-1-909747-56-2 Categories: , , Tags: , ,


Bonjour Mr Inshaw is a homage by the award-winning poet Peter Robinson to David Inshaw, the celebrated painter, whom he first met during the artist’s years as Creative Arts Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the mid-1970s. Largely produced in an unexpected burst of inspiration after a visit to the painter’s studio early in 2019, these poems combine memories of Inshaw’s paintings, or characteristic landscapes, with experiences of his company and conversation.

Showing a formal flexibility and deftness characteristic of this poet’s work, they reflect on the role of art in a time of political and cultural division. Presented in an en face format, Bonjour Mr Inshaw beautifully illustrates its ekphrastic encounters and allows us to reflect in turn on this contemporary example of the centuries-old dialogue between the arts of poetry and painting.

‘Following the visionary traditions of such quintessentially English predecessors as Samuel Palmer … or Stanley Spencer … Inshaw’s paintings discover the mystical in what could just as easily be overlooked as the mundane.’ – Rachel Campbell-Johnston, art critic for The Times

‘Robinson is the finest poet alive when it comes to the probing of shifts in atmosphere, momentary changes in the weather of the mind, each poem an astonishingly fine-tuned gauge for recording the pressures and processes that generate lived occasions’
– Adam Piette in The Reader

About the author: Peter Robinson was born in Salford, Lancashire, in 1953 and grew up mainly in Liverpool. After teaching for many years in Japan, he returned to Europe in 2007 and is currently Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Reading. The poetry editor for Two Rivers Press, author of many books of poetry, translations, prose fiction, and literary criticism, he has been awarded the Cheltenham Prize, the John Florio Prize, and two Poetry Book Society Recommendations.

Peter Robinson and David Inshaw. Paperback, 200 x 200 mm, 60 pages, January 2020

Listen to Peter Robinson reading ‘After the Visit’, ‘Haunting Landscapes’ and ‘A Woman a Poem a Picture’:

Poet of the Week – 6: Peter Robinson


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Bonjour Mr Inshaw”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.