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David Hughes

Working Out

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"Hughes’s work is part of a growing movement in Wales ...  aimed at making poetry a space for the real language of people." Jonathan Edwards, Poetry School


He comes each week to loosen his limbs,
lose some weight, make the heart beat stronger,

This is a skilful collection by a poet well acquainted with relative place: wherever a poem lives, it always remembers its place in the world. Indeed, juxtapositions and connections – with place, culture, and among humans – are where the poet flexes his muscle – ‘works
out’ his ideas. The poet gazes outward and inward with the same critical eye: he kindly refuses to judge the humans in his poems, instead offering them up as precise portraits, and even in dialect, never caricatures. The poet is never far from the frame, sharing in our delight, disappointment, upset, and wonder.


David Hughes’s first collection Tidy Boy (Swansea Poetry Workshop, 1998) won the Harri Webb Prize in 1999. In partnership with other poets he has written poetry and prose for specific locations in and around the Swansea area. His poetry has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. He lives in Swansea.