A Commonplace: Apples, Bricks & Other People’s Poems


A Commonplace is a conversation about how poetry is made and exists as the underlying geology of our lives. Jonathan Davidson’s quiet but distinctive poems – including pieces from the 17th Century, from Kyiv and Lisbon, and from Finland and Nicaragua –  are complemented by outstanding work by fourteen other poets and translators. Littered with unruly footnotes and featuring a gazetteer and bibliography, A Commonplace invites the reader to experience poetry as a lived art form.

What Writers and Critics Think

  • What shines through is the openness of the venture and the sense of poetic community and involvement of different voices and poetics in a constant communion.

    Sasha Dugdale
  • 'A Commonplace' is hugely readable – original, modest, wise and entertaining. Above all, it is a friendly book, an invitation to join a conversation.

    Andy Croft, Smokestack Books
  • I think that this book and its poems are very good, in brave and unusual ways.

    Alison Brackenbury


“Poems – my own and other people’s – are scattered across my life. They are in books and notebooks, folded in wallets and hidden in desk drawers; a few are memorised. They are as commonplace as food and drink. I wouldn’t want to live without them, although I dare say I could. They will be the last things I forget when I have forgotten everything else. Some of these poems are gathered together in this book, A Commonplace.

A Commonplace is a collection of my own poems interleaved with other people’s poems, poems I admire and that give solace or inspiration. As there are things I want to say about my own poems, and about those by other poets, I have included an on-going commentary. This isn’t something I’ve done before, but it has made me think about how poetry is released into the world.”

[Extract from A Commonplace]

Cover Painting: The Industrial Henge by Anna Dillon (http://www.annadillon.com/)

Additional information

Dimensions 13.8 × 10.8 × 0.9 cm




Publication Year

August 2020