Grenade Genie by Thomas McColl
25 brief studies of the cursed, coerced, combative and corrupted
Released April 2020
"It could be London, or any major city. Thomas McColl writes about a wasteland more frightening than Eliot's, but one where you still have to laugh at the craziness. A world of Instagram, security passes and decaying nuclear bunkers, where millions are spewed in and out of the Underground while being bombarded by invitations to go shopping. Where it isn't even safe to cross the road, and what happened to the trees? This is very definitely a book of poems for our times."
- Merryn Williams, Bloodaxe Poet and Critic
“When I first read these poems I knew I was in the presence of a real poet writing honestly and perceptively, exploring what it means to be alive in these unsettling times. He takes poetry seriously but never himself and indeed some poems make you explode with laughter.”
- Rodney Wood, Poet
“In ‘Grenade Genie’ Tom McColl goes urban exploring on our behalf. In the half-light he roams the plains of London and goes shopping with Greek heroes, mining the underground and
bringing up the bodies to the surface so we can identify them. Absurd flights of fantasy and too real memories are observed via the relentless gaze of the digital. These poems are not snapshots. They are long exposures of life, he sees us, and he sees himself, with a brilliant clarity.”
- Barry Fentiman-Hall, Poet
"'Grenade Genie' is a collection that is well-needed in these uncertain times, where political and social issues fill our pages. This is a must read where political poetry should be read and heard. I do highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the current contemporary poetry scene;the book comes as twenty- five brief studies of the cursed, coerced, combative, and corrupted and the urgency in these pages needs to be heard today."
- Matt Duggan: Poet
About the Author:
Thomas McColl was born in 1970 and lives in London. He’s had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Iota, Prole, Riggwelter, Atrium, London Grip and Ink, Sweat & Tears, and his
first collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, was published in 2016 by Listen Softly London Press. One of the poems from the book, The Chalk Fairy, was subsequently included
in the Shoestring Press anthology, Poems for Jeremy Corbyn, and ended up getting quoted in the Evening Standard. He’s read and performed his poetry at many events in London and beyond -
including Celine’s Salon, The Quiet Compere, Birkbeck Writer’s Room and Newham Word Festival - and has been featured on East London Radio, Wandsworth Radio and TV’s London Live.