"As to the poets who made it into Dear World, there are predictable highs, plateaux and crescendi. And amid the cacophony there are striking individual poems and selections from the likes of Emily Berry, Ben Borek, James Byrne, Tom Chivers, Elizabeth Guthrie, Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Emily Hasler, Oli Hazzard, Holly Hopkins, Sarah Howe, Luke Kennard, Frances Leviston, Éireann Lorsung, Michael McKimm, Kei Miller, Sam Riviere and Jack Underwood. These poets simply stand out because they write most like themselves and their poems are the least like so many other poems. Exemplary among them is Sandeep Parmar, whose extended ghazal "Against Chaos" is a lesson in the lineated locations of feeling:
Love could not have sent you, in this shroud of song,
to wield against death your hollow flute, tuned to chaos.
Whatever the Ancients said, matter holds the world
to its bargain of hard frost. But life soon forgets chaos.
He who has not strode the full length of age, has counted
then lost count of days that swallow, like fever, dark chaos.
And you, strange company, in the backseat of childhood
propped on the raft of memory like some god of chaos.
But what caught me by surprise, and made me convert to the bite and bustle of Dear World was the editorial courage to embrace poetic sequences. They lend a magical quality to the book, and its length allowed them to unroll. This is an act of grace. Longer poems were given space to breathe, and they achieve intense realisation in the hands of Patrick Coyle ("Alphabetes" is a sensation) and Jo Crot (the exquisite "from Poetsplain"); but also in the expertly challenging sequences by SJ Fowler, Jim Goar, Meirion Jordan, Chris McCabe, Keston Sutherland, Simon Turner, Ahren Warner and Steve Willey.
Dear World does well by these cumulative, unfolding, cloud-formations of sound and language. It is friendly to poetry's inherent difficulties and demands. Which, to my mind, makes it the bravest anthology of poetry of the past few years."