If Roy Fisher famously said ‘Birmingham’s what I think with’, Cliff Yates would probably say ‘Birmingham’s who I eat with’. These lucid and nimble poems effortlessly thread in and out of the quotidian, always alert to the transformative power of the everyday seen clearly. History is here too, but faced lightly, alongside tributes to key influences like Fisher, O’Hara, Raworth, Sheppard. Yates’s art is a fully embodied one (look out for the hilarious Tai Chi Sprout Stalk Form!) which moves – exuding a wry, wise vitality entirely his own.
– Scott Thurston