Kennard’s book, this endless party talk, is as riddling and enjoyable as the old sonnets on which it riffs. Think of it as the ideal cabaret: it never coheres, it never wants to, and it’ll never leave you at a loss for fun.
Consistently entertaining ... [Kennard's] most mature and emotionally vulnerable collection yet.
Tristram Fane Saunders, TLS
Luke Kennard has the uncanny genius of being able to stick a knife in your heart with such originality and verve that you start thinking “aren’t knives fascinating... and hearts, my god!” whilst everything slowly goes black.
Family life, doubt and faith, society, people, writers, social commentary, dark matter and string theory, the world at large, are all covered at some pace, each poem containing laugh-aloud ideas but also deep and considered moments which sneak up and surprise you ... extraordinary and original.
Rupert Loydell, International Times
Notes on the Sonnets is brilliant, brilliant in that way that things that are wise, funny, mysterious, smart, elliptical, sad and moving are. You can read it as prose poems, you can read it as (I did) a most brilliant novella of a party you both want to and never want to be at, you can read it as the ballad of Sad and Happy Horse; you can read it as a the endless longing that we all have and need to connect... You can read it as frankly a preview of what we shall all be doing once we can have legal parties again; you can read it as good a piece of philosophy masquerading as literature to do with a party since Mrs Dalloway; you can read it as an infinite tribute to Shakespeare... Just read it, because it is bloody brilliant and you will love it.
Notes on the Sonnets ... complicates history, truth and authority, all with wry wit, infectious humour and pronounced melancholia.
Kate Simpson, Poetry Review
Notes on the Sonnets is intoxicating – a kind of stream of semi-consciousness, at once alert (there are substances involved) and dazed, disorientated (there is rum involved). Sentences make your head spin, then hurt: in 154 poems, there are seemingly numberless ideas, observations, aphorisms, characters. [...] Any party, like any poem, can be surreal and self-conscious; but only the best ones revolve around love – the way we make and unmake it, the way the mind whirls under its influence.
Katherine Cowles, New Statesman