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The Toll

Luke Wright

"Sharp, gritty and warm by turns ... an overview of the mingled corruptions, humour and blessings of living in modern Britain."

The Skinny

Travel the unfashionable A-roads and commuter lines of England — ‘where industry meets marsh’ — with poet Luke Wright.

Discover a country riven by inequality and corruption but sustained by a surreal, gallows humour. An escaped lion roams the streets of Essex; a lonely pensioner holds a tower block fête; and the silent majority takes to the streets.

The Toll combines the elegaic with the anarchic, placing uproarious satire cheek-by-jowl with wild experiments in form and touching poems of parenthood. In lines perfected on roads, stages and radio shows across the country, Luke Wright captures the strain of austerity Britain, speaking truth to power and registering the toll it takes on us all.

Our price £9.99
RRP £9.99
100 pages
ISBN 9781908058423
Published 2 February 2017
Cover design: Penned in the Margins


Sharp, gritty and warm by turns ... an overview of the mingled corruptions, humour and blessings of living in ... modern Britain.
The Skinny

The language is working hard with remarkable force. Wright is an angry poet, excoriating the lies and wickedness of contemporary Britain. He is also capable of writing powerful and moving narrative verse about people and places that are profoundly unpoetic in any traditional or generally accepted way. You could read this aloud to an audience, hush the gossping crowd, and make them weep.
David Malcolm, Poetry Salzburg Review

Wright's a balladeer for our time ... an f-bombing William Blake, but mitigating this with moments of tenderness gives this collection breath-taking range and power.
John Field, Poor Rude Lines

Life in today’s Britain takes its toll on so many, including the characters in the poems, and no contemporary poet understands or conveys that better than [Luke] Wright.
Jacqueline Saphra, The Poetry School

The Toll is a rich collection that is diversely peppered with the comedic and the moving. A master of sound, [Wright] invokes the traditional poetry canon and places it with the decidedly modern reflections of the state of England in 2017.
Chloe Vaughan, The Manchester Review

About the author

Luke Wright is a poet and broadcaster. His poetry stage shows have toured the world and played sold-out runs in London and Edinburgh. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio and his verse documentary on Channel 4 was nominated for a Grierson Award. His first collection, Mondeo Man, was published in 2013. His debut play, What I Learned from Johnny Bevan, won The Scotsman Fringe First Award and The Stage Award for Acting Excellence.

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