sailing the forest new

Sailing the Forest: Selected Poems

Picador, 2014
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 2014


‘Robertson hasn’t yet crossed over into the realm of mainstream adoration that Ireland’s Seamus Heaney enjoyed among American readers, but that’s probably only a matter of time… The visceral language of a Robin Robertson poem has a way of feeling simultaneously luxurious and spartan. To put it bluntly, he writes lines that you want to read again and again… He writes poems about the body, and that’s where they hit you, and that’s where they seem determined to stay.’
Jeff Gordinier, New York Times Book Review

‘Robin Robertson is a fearless and thrilling poet in what he confronts in himself as well as what he unearths from the commons of myth and balladry. Sailing the Forest brings together nearly 20 years of his exceptional, intense lyrics, including eldritch legends of his own invention.’
Marina Warner, Times Higher Education Supplement Books of the Year

Sailing the Forest is a wonderfully generous selected poems. Great precision of language, limpid observation and a rare ability to make the narrative of the poems resonate evocatively. A ripple-effect that is remarkably profound.’
William Boyd, Observer Books of the Year

‘Robin Robertson’s bracing book offers a host of pleasures: rich and briny atmospheres, the burr and bristle of a fine ear, an eye restless for exact and searing detail. But the greatest of these is watching a writer come into his own, in poems increasingly compelling and large in their embrace, their dark and lustrous landscapes fully inhabited, fully haunted.’
Mark Doty

‘Fierce clarity and precise ambivalence… Robertson creates stories with a kind of folkloric timelessness but which are nevertheless distinctly his inventions. “At Roane Head”… is already a gothic masterpiece.’
Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

‘The poetry event of 2014 was Sailing the Forest by Robin Robertson, which affords a longer view of this supremely gifted artist. Here is passion, savagery and tenderness, all combined and all controlled within a faultless technique.’
John Banville, Irish Times Books of the Year