About Richard Price

Richard Price’s poetry is perhaps most distinctive for its compelling mixture of lyric and avant-garde experimental tendencies; he is a poet as likely to write with a tender warmth and compassion as he is to push language’s everyday, hesitant provisionality to breaking point.
 
Price was originally associated with the Informationists, a loose collective of poets in the 1990s which included his Scottish compatriots W N Herbert and David Kinloch, both of whom also feature in the Poetry Archive. The self-professed aim of this group was, as Price himself said, ‘to rewire the new of the everyday to itself’ and ‘engage with the jargon of information society’. But while this Archive recording reveals a fascination with the whirr and blur of technology – the back-lit galleried artworks of ‘Softened, bright’, or a new upgrade that will ‘read everything’ in ‘Big Bang research’ – what increasingly distinguishes Price’s writing is its intimacy, its personal note of you/I lyric exchanges. As Robert Potts has noted in The Guardian, at its best his poetry is ‘clear, witty, intelligent, versatile and often highly moving; superb examples of a hard-earned surface simplicity conveying oceanic depths of feeling and thought’.
 
Born in 1966, Price grew up in Renfrewshire, Scotland, later training as a journalist in Edinburgh, before reading English and Librarianship at the University of Strathclyde. His day job as a librarian may well in part account for his fascination with information and the often precise, sparse detail of his poetry. But Price’s writing is also notable for its playful, even mischievous qualities, and its disarming, gentle humour. In particular, this Archive recording showcases an ability to write poems to and from childhood, mixing nostalgic memory and knowing innocence with the concerns and revivified joys of the adult poet, as a father of young daughters. ‘The world is busy, Katie’, featured in the online selection from this Archive recording, is a fine example: an exquisite near-sonnet that combines a steady rhythm and end-rhymes with an utterly authentic speaking voice, it delivers a lullaby to a restless child, while acknowledging the ‘small world’ we all inhabit, as life writ large teems beyond the walls of the house.
 
Throughout this recording, Richard Price reads with a quiet authority but also reassuring humanity. There is an animated quality to his voice, but the poet also pauses to take stock, allowing the reader to do the same. From the ‘holiday romance’ of a deckchair to melancholy’s interior, ‘a quiet river’s stepping stones’, the poems chart the highlights of five published collections with Carcanet Press, confirming Abi Curtis’ assessment of Price as ‘a poet who listens, and this is what makes his work sing’.    

Richard Price's recording was made for The Poetry Archive on 21 November 2016 at The Soundhouse, London.

Moon for Sale, Carcanet, 2017

Buy

Small World, Carcanet, 2012

Buy

Rays, Carcanet, 2009

Buy

Greenfields, Carcanet, 2007

Buy

Lucky Day, Carcanet, 2005

Buy

Prizes

2005 Forward Felix Dennis First Collection Prize, Lucky Day (shortlist)

Prize website

2005 Whitbread Poetry Book of the Year, Lucky Day (shortlist)

Prize website

2005 Jerwood/Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, Lucky Day (shortlist)

2008 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of Year Award, Greenfields (shortlist)

2010 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of Year Award, Rays (shortlist)

2013 Creative Scotland SMIT Poetry Book of the Year, Small World (winner)

Recordings

Richard Price Downloads

1Motorcruisers

£0.89

2Holiday romance

£0.89

3The world is busy, Katie

£0.89

4A bow-tie pattern

£0.89

5Softened, bright

£0.89

6Big Bang research

£0.89

7In your generous hours

£0.89

8Texts

£0.89

9When the animals are freed

£0.89

10Open the paper window

£0.89

11Wake up and sleep

£0.89

12As if a song

£0.89

14Parkway

£0.89

15Trackside fires

£0.89

16I'm writing to write again

£0.89

17Like a student gardener

£0.89

18Golden key

£0.89

19Compartment

£0.89

20Compartment (b)

£0.89

21Delicate greenery

£0.89

22Relatives Room

£0.89

23Corinne

£0.89

24Jewellery

£0.89

25Phantom Limb

£0.89

26It's work to sit still

£0.89

27I am greatly changed

£0.89

28How a book could be

£0.89

29The Price

£0.89

30Butterfly dream

£0.89

31Snailmail

£0.89

33A little trouble

£0.89

34The feathered creatures disturb her dreams

£0.89

35Late enough

£0.89

36Her tattoo has shifted

£0.89

37Cold light of day

£0.89

39Hunt the rain down

£0.89

40With a movement of the hand

£0.89

41Medicate to lessen

£0.89

42A quiet river

£0.89

43The world brims

£0.89

44These choices are not choices

£0.89

Books by Richard Price