First of the Last Chances

Carcanet Press, 2003

One of twenty titles chosen for the Next Generation promotion in June 2004.

Sophie Hannah’s first book was greeted with amazement. The Poetry Review declared, ‘Shall I put it in capitals? SOPHIE HANNAH IS A GENIUS.’ Each subsequent colletion has been formally more inventive, thematically more complex, yet each has met with a similar welcome, and she has become that rare thing, an acclaimed and best-selling poet.

‘First of the Last Chances’ combines traditional techniques of metre and rhyme with a sharp sense of contemporary life. In this, her fourth collection of poetry, Sophie Hannah explores and celebrates the complex interactions and strong feelings involved in everyday experience, in poems that are memorable, witty and moving.

‘She ranks among the best recent practitioners of light verse, sharing with Ewart fluency and a good ear, emulating Wendy Cope in her sly wit and blending an eye for the absurdities in human behaviour with compassion.’ Alan Brownjohn, Sunday Times

‘Sophie Hannah is a poet of considerable skill. She employs a wide variety of rhyming forms, and you can trust her not to trip you up with a metrical infelicity. A shrewd and accurate observer of the world around her, and of her own life, she is often very funny. This collection, her fourth, is arguably her best so far. Wendy Cope, ‘Books of the Year’, The Oldie

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Some poems from First of the Last Chances