Adventures in poetry
Cover art by Anita Staff
Date: 20th May 2021
Extent: 72 pp
Boy in Various Poses, a debut collection of poems from Lewis Buxton, explores all the different types of boy you can be – tender, awful, thoughtful, vulnerable. Here, a maelstrom of mental health, male bodies, and sexuality is laid bare with wit and curiosity, and the complexity and multiplicity of gender itself is revealed.
The boy in question is often shapeshifting, slippery, unreliable, close yet never quite in focus, moving too fast to pause and take a breath - yet Buxton studies these boys, their bodies and behaviours, with a disarming intimacy and precision. These poems are provocative, nuanced and often laugh-out-loud funny, shining with a naked, shameless brilliance.
Praise for Boy in Various Poses:
"Poems that capture the rugby scrum of insight and uncertainty, the questions and discoveries I remember and still live. It pulled me in and showed me its birth marks. Loved it." - Steven Camden (Polarbear)
“The poems in Boy in Various Poses are wonderfully original in their portrayal of boys and the complex dynamics of masculinity and male relationships in the 21st century. Corporeal, surreal, and shocking, these poems are also beautifully tender - and Buxton’s precise, imagistic use of language often has the poems singing from the page. A bold and moving debut.” – Hannah Lowe
“In this assured debut, Lewis Buxton asks 'how does a boy become a man?'. The answers are myriad and transgressive, lyrical and smart. The answers are more questions. The answers are flowers and oranges, hunger, knuckles, slow dancing, glitter and fear. In these taut poems, conventions are dropped stylishly, elegantly 'like a coat on a dance floor.' We are left watching a departing figure, a boy running 'out of his lungs', 'the sky's hair...flecked with grey.' This book is unforgettable, utterly addictive.” – Helen Mort
“What a tender, surprising collection this is. All of the awkward, vulnerable truths and joys of boyhood – of bodies and balls and fathers – are here, bloodlet and coursing through these poems.” – Ross Raisin
Lewis Buxton was born in 1993 and is a poet, performer and arts producer. His poems have appeared in The Rialto, Magma, Ambit and Oxford Poetry. In 2018 he received the UEA Literary Festival Bursary and was named one of The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press’ Primers Volume Four poets. He is Director of the poetry project, TOAST and teaches writing in schools and libraries around the country. He currently lives in Norfolk. Boy in Various Poses is his first collection.
photo credit: Katherine Mager Photography