James Harpur. Paperback, 96 pages, 2018.
‘I have rarely encountered a contemporary voice that brings out as strongly and convincingly as does James Harpur’s in “The White Silhouette” the way in which spiritual wrestlings and traditions can live again in poetry.’ — MICHAEL O’NEILL, London Magazine
‘An outstanding collection … I have read and admired earlier volumes by Harpur, but none of them had prepared me for just how remarkable a collection “The White Silhouette” proved to be.’ — GLYN PURSGLOVE, Acumen
‘In “The White Silhouette” he has created a … triumph of contemporary poetry … Harpur is the poet of Knights Hospitaller materials, a quest for that faraway Grail. Faith for Harpur has always blown in with the Lindisfarne storm. There are many poems here of astonishing quality.’ — THOMAS McCARTHY, Poetry Ireland Review
‘James Harpur’s “The White Silhouette” is a beautiful collection of poetry in three parts. “The White Silhouette” is a tour of faith and history. “Kells” imagines a conversation with the various artisans of that famous illuminated text. The last section, “Leaves,” blends classical references with memories of family, school, friendships, and loss. The book’s total effect is both complex and meditative. Throughout the collection, Harpur’s craft is both beautiful and subtle.’ — GREG BROWN, World Literature Today
‘“The White Silhouette” is a triumph of spiritual word-wielding … The rhythm of Harpur’s lines are so masterfully controlled, one is borne along on his voice; calm, careful and always drifting … Holy or not, these poems are for the spirit.’ — JOE DARLINGTON, Manchester Review of Books