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The Prettyboys of Gangster Town is about the connections we attempt to form with others, from the hopeful to the helpless, and how these relationships change. Martin Grey explores growing up through time, circumstance and by growing out of 'masculinity'.
Martin is an experienced and active Nottingham based poet and event organiser who performs extensively across the Midlands, the Edinburgh Fringe and Berlin, winning the 2018 Southwell Folk Festival Slam.
He has supported several nationally renowned poets, including Jess Green and Dominic Berry.
"Martin makes the ordinary extraordinary, turns the mole hill into the mountain."
- Sophie Sparham, Performance Poet
"The Prettyboys of Gangster Town is an open-hearted, compassionate debut collection from Martin Grey. These poems are wistful, warm and highly emotionally-engaging, articulating the joys and pitfalls of modern life from a number of different perspectives, while always remaining true to Grey’s distinctive poetic style. There are some real gut-punches in this collection too - all life is laid bare with a beautiful eye for the details - but at its heart, this is a book all about empathy."
- Leanne Moden, Poet and Performance
"If there is one central force which pulses through the words of Martin's work, it is love. In spite of life's let downs and losses, love is discovered and cherished on a rite of passage from a grubby nightclub and teenage dreams to handling the daily bewilderments of attempting this thing called adulthood. Get ready for love as big as any astronaut's favourite planet. There is enough love between these pages to start a revolution. These stanzas brim with love for the melody of lyrical language, subtle internal rhyme and imaginative wordplay. This book also enthusiastically explores boy-meets-girl love, without saccharine or cliché, but with genuine openness at the awkwardness and potential highs of trying to navigate an optimistic heart. On top of all of this, you will be subjected to some very important questions, such as 'does anyone like their knee caps' and 'is it OK to dunk a custard cream?' (The answer to the latter is 'No'). A relatable, hope-raising read for both the realist and romantic."
- Dominic Berry, winner of Saboteur 2020 Best Spoken Word Artist
The Prettyboys of Gangster Town by Martin Grey
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