Here is a major book by a major British poet who dances in the ballroom where the avant-garde meets the mainstream and, more importantly, males us all want to dance there too. In Martin Stannard’s hands language is never tired, or threadbare, or past its sell-by date or begrudging or lightweight.
— Ian McMillan, back cover blurb for Poems for the Young at Heart
You can never, it used to be (rightly) said, open Tennyson on the wrong page. The same applies to Stannard . . . (He) is not only an intoxicatingly entertaining poet; here he proves himself one with the emotional assurance and the artistry to strike (after exquisitely delicate preparation) the seriously subjective note.
— D.M. de Silva, at Poetry Salzburg Review on Poems for the Young at Heart
In the final song of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (1909), ‘Der Abschied,’ (‘The Farewell’), the contralto sings the words: ‘I seek peace for my lonely heart.’ The words could easily stand as the motto for Martin Stannard’s new book, The Moon Is About 238,855 Miles Away, a beautiful collection of ‘Versions after the Chinese.’
— Jonathan Taylor, at Litter on The Moon Is About 238,855 Miles Away
. . . the poems Martin Stannard writes now still very much possess all the appealing qualities of his earlier poems, without, however, being in any way repetitious. His work is informed by, among others, the Romantics, the Surrealists and the New York poets (with shades of Koch, O’Hara and Ashbery), but the poems are he writes are instantly recognizable as his. It is a poetry which should be much, much more widely-known than it is at present.
— Ian Seed, at Tears in the Fence, on Items