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The 2016 Shadow Panel of bookbloggers have started to share their thoughts about this year’s shortlist.  Read what they have to say about Andrew McMillan’s Physical

“And everything is written with a refreshing candour and raw emotion. It’s almost as though McMillan ripped his heart out and pinned it dripping to the pages of this short book. Yet it’s not without a sense of humour, as the title alone of The Fact we Almost Killed a Badger is Incidental may suggest.  All up, I very much enjoyed this collection of poems — it took me right out of my comfort zone but I was in good hands.” Kim Forrester, Reading Matters

“Since the publication of his debut poetry collection Physical, Andrew McMillan has been hailed as the poet of masculinity. It was interesting to be aware of this approaching the collection as a feminist and – if I may be so bold – I’d dare to say that McMillan is also a feminist, at least to the extent that he understands that patriarchal ideas of masculinity are as damaging to men as they are to women… Physical is an interesting, often ambitious, sometimes breath-taking look at love and masculinity. If this is what Andrew McMillan is capable of in his debut collection then I can’t wait to witness the rest of his career.” – Naomi Frisby, The Writes of Women


“Quite something – that’s it in a nutshell. Physical is powerful, stunning, mind-blowing, but not quite perfect – a word which of course has value here because in the context of the collection not being perfect is sometimes the point. The collection repeats itself to interlink, to draw connections between poems, but it also repeats itself literally, subjects that are in reality separate scenes but on the page sound very similar. Is that a problem? The answer is subjective – it really depends on how much you’re enjoying reading about the themes; McMillan’s writing itself never waivers. It’s another reason to take your time.”  Charlie Place, The Wormhole

“The poetry in “Physical” has the unique and astounding ability to make you reassess how you exist in your own body. It provokes ontological questions about whether a person’s mind is couched in the gray masses in our heads or the neurological connections within our bodies. Throughout the book the author has a disarming way of dividing physical acts from the body and then drawing them back in to distil the accompanying feelings so they are more concentrated. What’s left are the intense emotions which have overwhelmingly permeated the memories of physical encounters. I’ve spent a lot of time sitting with many of the poems in this forceful, moving collection. I discovered fresh insights and asked more questions with each rereading.” Eric Karl Andersen, Lonesome Reader

Young Writer Award @YoungWriterYear

Follow us on twitter. The Young Writer of the Year Award is a prize of £10,000 for a writer under 35.

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