Safe Levels (Stride 1990)
Alexis Lykiard has published many novels, translations (Lautréamont, Nostradamus, Apollinaire, Aragon, Jarry etc.), and a baker's dozen of poetry books.
Safe Levels includes poems about all areas of life - games, love, reported headlines, prison (from the author's recent residency - as writer), jazz music, and sex. Witty, direct and highly readable, this is Lykiard's finest yet!
“I really liked Safe Levels, sharp, cleaving, carving, piercing – bright, sharp, clean stabs” [Ted Hughes]
“I’m very pleased to see Safe Levels and hope it is widely read. I wish George Oppen could have read it. It’s so strong” [Anthony Rudolf, Menard Press]
A new book of poems from "the rudest man in the West". [Sunday Independent]
Of his previous books
reviewers have written: "A bright and energetic talent"
often controversial and always original... Lykiard's work cuts
across the whole spectrum of poetry, and is always destined to
irritate a few narrow minds, but for those who share his love of
form and the sheer exhiliaration of making words work, Out of Exile
is well recommended"
"He is an honest and direct poet... a serious and incisive writer"[Outposts]
"Lykiard sits on posh literary panels and his work is reviewed by highbrow critics. But much of it is so filthy you wouldn't wrap your chips in it. In fact he penned one pair of ditties we wouldn't publish in a family newspaper like The Sun"[p3, The Sun]
"Lykiard's writing has some of the crackle of gunfire... The poems are concentrated, passionate and make deft, intelligent, ironic points, relishing their clarity... This is a spiky and sparky book. The poems of love and lust enact some electrically tumescent scenes... These poems have something of the metallic plangency of bouzouki music by a blue Aegean" [Herbert Lomas in Ambit]
"Alexis Lykiard will continue to attract our attention and admiration" [William Scammell in British Book News]