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The Anvil's Prayer
The Anvil's Prayer finds magic in the ordinary: heroism in the average person and beauty in the least likely places. Celebrating the wonder that surrounds us in the most mundane events of our everyday lives, James W Wood's first full-length collection turns from praise to elegy, from excoriating criticism to exaltation, in language which is as understated as it is precise and daring.
Reviews of earlier work
'James W. Wood’s 'The Theory of Everything' negotiates the daily business of living with insight and feeling'
Carl Phillips, winner of the Solomon Guggenheim Memorial Award
'James W Wood’s The Theory of Everything is an exceptional first volume of verse, full of an awareness of the richness of everyday lives.'
Professor Emeritus Brian Cox on The Theory of Everything
'James W Wood's poetry couples a finely tuned ear with a remarkable mix of passion, idealism and down-to-earth good sense. Indeed, 'The Song of Scotland' – a powerful piece by any measure – may well be this century's first significant state-of-the-nation poem.'
Andrew Philip, author of 'The Ambulance Box'
'James W. Wood is a talent to be reckoned with: both lyrical and humane, he has a technical ability with language that shines through every poem and a versatility that enables him to range effortlessly from elegy to satire.'
Jane McKie, winner of the 2008 Scottish book of the year
'James W. Wood is fired by an intense love of the art, informed by extensive study and a keen ear for cadence and phrase. He’s a key player in the new poetry life of Scotland, a dynamic member of the younger network, unafraid to speak out with grace, spirit and intelligence.'
Helena Nelson, author of 'Starlight Under Water', and, 'Plot and Counter-plot'
'…yet this ('Inextinguishable') spare and beautiful book does not brood. Instead, it sings with the colour of life. Details of the everyday settle jewel-like, sparkling against the flat grey of loss … Wood gently urges his listeners to notice small details, especially those signposts of memory, planted imperfectly on the border between life and death.
(Sphinx Magazine on 'Inextinguishable' in 2009)
From reviews of 'Stealing Fire'
'the plot moves at a furious pace... it's like James Bond on speed'
Sue Leonard, The Irish Examiner
'terrific... at once a gripping yarn and a thought-provoking expose of the murky world of international arms dealing'
Stephen Thompson, author of Toy Soldiers (Sceptre)
'this debut novel heads straight for the silver screen ... sterling stuff from a capital author'
The Edinburgh Evening News
About the Author
James W Wood was born in Scotland and educated at schools in Canada and the UK before winning a place to study English at Cambridge, where his first book of poetry, Swingtime, was published with financial support from the university.
After leaving Cambridge, James won a scholarship to work at his writing with 1992 Nobel prize winner in literature, Derek Walcott, in the United States. Since leaving North America for a second time, James has worked as a copywriter and media executive on four continents. He has also reviewed for The Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, The London Magazine, The Daily Telegraph and many others, His poems have appeared in the above journals and further anthologies, including Faber and Faber's First Pressings (1998). James is also the author of two other works, The Theory of Everything (HappenStance, 2006), and Inextinguishable (Knucker Press, 2008).
Writing as Craig Sterling, James is the author of the
action thriller Stealing Fire (Leamington Books, 2011) which
was shortlisted for the book to film category at the 2011 Rome Film Festival
and received warm reviews in Ireland and the UK.