Publication date: 14th May 2014
Josh Ekroy’s debut poetry collection explores the legacy of more than a decade of wars on terror, disastrous foreign policies and brutality. These are adroit and concise poems, observed from the standpoint of an unflinching bystander to the ‘shock and awe’ of early twenty-first century history.
Revulsion at corrupt leaders and the absurdity of rotten institutions and systems fuels these poems with an illuminating satirical energy. Ekroy’s poetry is dynamic and refined, mindful of the blood and the ties of humanity that should bond us; it is deeply humane poetry – written with a graceful and precise wit, and a generous dash of surrealism. Ways to Build a Roadblock reminds us of our complicated complicities and boldly reflects on the contradictions of our age.
“Ekroy's craft and good ear enable him to write lines that stick and haunt and often make the reader see the world in a new way. This is a stunning and most welcome first collection, that expands in significance and power at each reading.” – Peter Carpenter
“Josh Ekroy's intense, exact and absolutely engaged poems make for a gripping and moving collection. There's wit, pity and anger here, and lots of war, all captured in a language peculiarly fitted for the purpose - a language whose constant inventiveness delights but never overwhelms its subject, and which is not afraid to shock simply by being itself.” – Judy Brown
“Satire is strangely absent in much contemporary poetry but here we have it - a sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued take not only on 21st century warfare, the military and the privileged, but also on memory and the natural world. Ekroy has the knack for sounding just the right tone for each poem ... There is at once an authority and a vulnerability to these poems.” – Greta Stoddart
Josh Ekroy was born in Essex, brought up in Surrey and educated in Sussex and Kentish Town. In another life he wrote novels for which the world was not yet ready as well as humorous articles which appeared in magazines including Punch. He now lives next to a lot of building sites in the City of London. He taught English for some years mainly in FE Colleges and for two years in Kiribati in the Pacific, which was then and is now disappearing beneath the waves as ocean levels rise. His poems appear in magazines, anthologies and webzines. Ways to Build a Roadblock is his first collection.