So Much For Life

A long awaited collection of poems by Mark Hyatt, one of the great lost writers of mid-century British poetry.



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Selected Poems

Additional information

Weight .6 lbs

eBook, Paperback

Scarcely published in his lifetime, Hyatt’s work survives thanks to the intervention of poets and friends who saved his manuscripts and kept his poems in circulation. Queer in the decades before Gay Liberation; Romani; incarcerated in prisons and asylums; illiterate into adulthood: it’s tempting to read Hyatt according to the familiar script of the doomed poet, resounding with loneliness and isolation. But his poetry—“hot and tender,” funny and sad—tells another story: of love, liberatory commitment, and desire.


You can tell Hyatt can dance from the length of his lines. You can also feel the courtesy he extends to words in that he gives each one its space. He moves you. He has a touch of San Francisco in his grammatical manner. But he is not American, he’s an original.

-Fanny Howe
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ISBN: 9781643621784
Paperback, 224 pages, 6 x 9 in
Publication Date: June 6 2023

Hyatt suggests that sexuality of any kind is a longing for relation and a way of knowing the self. But so is writing, so is poetry, and so is any kind of social activity. For Hyatt, queer sexuality is a given, not, to adopt the language of the day, a “social problem.” And in the bohemian enclaves of early 1960s London, he found a context in which his queerness—which along with his race and class sometimes rendered him precarious—could be nurtured and protected.

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Mark Hyatt (1940-1972) lived at the center and the fringes of the bohemian underground in 1960s Britain. In the half-century since his death, his work has been known …

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Sam Ladkin is Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex …

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Luke Roberts is a poet and writer. He works at King’s College London …

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