Shortlisted for the 2018 T. S. Eliot Prize
“Nick Laird’s dazzling poems arrive with a kind of revolutionary candor; a truth-telling that’s political, existential, and above all, emotional.… Feel Free is essential poetry.”—Terrance Hayes
Feel Free, the fourth collection from acclaimed poet Nick Laird, effortlessly marries the acoustic expansiveness of Whitman or Ashbery with the lyricism of Laird’s forebears Heaney, MacNeice, and Yeats. With characteristic variety, invention, and wit, Laird explores the patterns of freedom and constraint—the family, the impress of history, the body itself—and how we might transcend them. Always daring, always renewing, Feel Free is Laird’s most remarkable work to date.
About the Author
Nick Laird’s work has garnered multiple awards including the Eric Gregory Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship. Feel Free was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Laird is a writer-in-residence at NYU and Chair of Creative Writing (poetry) at Queen's University, Belfast. He lives in New York and Ireland.
Reading Feel Free, I feel myself in the presence of a true master, a poet courageous and capable enough to sing loss and shame, humor and praise as if it is all part of the very same song.
— Tracy K. Smith
[Feel Free] shows this exceptionally gifted poet extending what is by now a real range.
— Paul Muldoon
Nick Laird's acute eye and shades of meaning make these poems a gift to read.
The highlights of the book are love poems and city poems for the Information Age: the poet's situations and relationships—as a father, a son, a husband—are sized up and filtered through different kinds of brilliantly manipulated language…Feel Free [is] Laird's best book yet.