Shortlisted for the 2019 Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize for Second Collections
Longlisted for the 2018 International Dylan Thomas Prize
On Trust: A Book of Lies, James Womack’s second collection of poems, is organised around the notion of telling the truth. Working against ideas of poetry as a vehicle for displaying individual truths or unprocessed confessions, these poems play hilariously, earnestly, undecidedly, with such simple identifications as the ‘I’ of a poem with the ‘I’ of the poet, offering us monologues which seem to be sincere, unvarnished accounts of things that have ‘really’ happened, but which twist and escape any absolute statements of identity. Serious questions of being and belonging, as well as frivolous themes such as the Marquis de Sade, Siberia, genitals, the Fates, and death, are picked up in play, prodded at, then put down in new and sparkling configurations.