Roy Fisher (1930-2017) published over 30 poetry books, and was the subject of numerous critical essays and several studies, including The Thing About Roy Fisher: Critical Essays on the Poetry of Roy Fisher, edited by Peter Robinson and John Kerrigan (Liverpool University Press, 2000), and of The Unofficial Roy Fisher, edited by Peter Robinson (Shearsman Books, 2010). He published four books with Bloodaxe. The Dow Low Drop: New & Selected Poems (1996) was superseded by his later retrospective, The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2005 (2005), and followed by Standard Midland (2010), published on his 80th birthday, which was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. An expanded edition, The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2010 - including Standard Midland - was published in 2012. His first US Selected Poems, edited by August Kleinzahler, was published by Flood Editions in 2011. His final collection, Slakki: New & Neglected Poems (2016) is a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. Born in Handsworth, Birmingham, he retired as Senior Lecturer in American Studies from Keele University in 1982. He was also a jazz musician, and lived in the Derbyshire Peak District in his later years.
'Fisher stands outside, or alongside, whatever else is happening, an English late modernist whose experiments tend to come off. He is a poet of the city - his native Birmingham, which he describes as "what I think with". He is a redeemer of the ordinary, often a great artist of the visible - His range is large: he suits both extreme brevity and book-length exploration; his seeming improvisations have a way of turning into architecture. The best place to start is "The Long and the Short of It". It might look and sound like nothing on earth at first, but then it becomes indispensable' - Sean O'Brien, Guardian. 'There is no poet alive whose work has challenged or interested me more' - August Kleinzahler. 'Anyone who doubts that contemporary poetry can be intellectually and formally daring without being strictly for lecturers and fanatics should read this book' - William Wootten, Guardian.