‘It’s a skilful writer indeed who can combine elements both heartbreaking and hilarious: Brookes is that writer.’ – Robert Minhinnick (2018 Wales Book of the Year winner)
‘J.Brookes is unafraid to say profound things, but in an unexpected context and with a wry humour.’ – Shenagh Pugh
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New & Selected Poems, brings together the best of Brookes from four books and booklets, published from the early 90s: 43 Poems, The Dresden Cantata, Book, and More Last Poems and some new additions.
Brookes handles with confidence and purpose poems both as neat and revealing as a mathematical equation, and poems that trip down the page on their rhymes. His subjects are as various as the world, often funny, in all the senses of the word, always unsentimental, each carefully observed and valued, whether a noisy cafe, model boats on a lake, or a neighbour dying in a hospital bed.
J. Brookes was born in London in 1951. He has travelled widely and worked in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He took a degree from the University of Ulster in 1981. He was the editor of The Yellow Crane poetry magazine between in 1995 and 2005. He lives in Cardiff.