Featured Poet: Toby Martinez de las Rivas

Eyewear welcomes the poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas (pictured) this rainy Friday in London.  Toby Martinez de las Rivas was born in 1978. He grew up in Somerset, then moved to the north-east of England after studying history and archaeology at Durham where he began writing. 

He first worked as an archaeologist and this, together with the landscape of Northumberland and the work of north-eastern writers such as Barry MacSweeney and Gillian Allnutt have had a significant impact on the development of his own poetry. He won an Eric Gregory award in 2005 and the Andrew Waterhouse award from New Writing North in 2008. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines, and he was also selected for the Faber New Poets scheme; his pamphlet was number 2.  Many, including myself, consider him among the most gifted and imaginative of emerging poets now writing, and the ingenuity and originality of his work has something of the youthful genius of a young Paul Muldoon - though with its own style.  I mean by this I have rarely been as impressed with a new poet as with him.  I look forward to his first full collection. 


Futility of representation, of image, cherubic shepherd. 
Only the irrádiate Inmaculada of Nagasaki can help us,
or Bonhoeffer on the forsaken God, on hís decrepitude.
Le Pont des Tourelles, buckling under the concussions.
Orléans, in conflagration. And this, a foursquare stable
in the hinterland of assault, thick stands of corn waded
through by cows in labour, the one who told this to me
easing his eye cautiously to the door to find two horses
in yoke at the charette, each knelt on its cannon-bones
as if sleeping, unscathed, groomed, dead in their traces.


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