The Claims Office
THE CLAIMS OFFICE is the startlingly good debut poetry collection from Dai George, a young writer originally from Cardiff. His method is mostly straightforward narrative but the textures and imagery are often elaborate and strange. This rich surface is undercut by an interesting attitude: a mix of rebellious energy and unflinching satire. His ‘nature’ poems are often anti-nature poems, for example the darkly funny ‘Narwhal’. There are lively pieces about London and New York: ‘Metroland’ and ‘New York on a Shoestring’; skewed loves poems: ‘Plans with the Unmet Wife’. ‘His works about his native Wales alternate between an edgy sarcasm and the elegiac tone of the collection’s title poem, placing George very much in the lineage of poets like Duncan Bush, John Ormond, Mike Jenkins, Robert Minhinnick and R.S. Thomas; they display a deep suspicion of authority and a reluctance to conform to nationalist cliché. His spiky and tender character sketch of an old Valleys boxer, points to another influence, Gwyn Thomas. The generous forms and temperament of American poet C.K. Williams is another influence on this promising young author.
THE CLAIMS OFFICE was published on 14th October 2014 by Seren Books.
“A brilliant new voice in British poetry whose debut is rich with Welsh wit, lyricism and spirituality. A little gem, full of promise.”
– Dan Jones, London Evening Standard