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A staggeringly diverse and versatile collection, Naomi Foyle’s second collection (following The Night Pavilion, a PBS Recommendation in 2008) is so densely packed with imagery that the reader will be able to return to these stark, honest poems again and again. A tapestry of global history, culture and myth, Foyle’s poems journey around the world while always retaining a connection with humanity – no mean feat given the disparate nature of her subjects.

In ‘Sefton Park’ Foyle tells of ‘two continents in seven years, now en route to a third’ – the poet’s peripatetic childhood perhaps responsible for the wanderlust evident in these poems. However, as the title suggests, a recurring theme of this collection is football. With the World Cup due to kick off in June, there are nods to football culture throughout this collection: ‘God Save Our Noble Team’ concludes that football is an astonishing power, ‘so epic that every four years it hurls nations into riots’. From set pieces in Assyria (‘Ancient History’) to Berlin (‘Teutonic Shifts’), via New York, London, and Brighton, The World Cup is a collection of wonderfully diverse themes, form and tone, united by an astute and sparkling wit.

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