One Day in the Life of Jimmy Denisovich

One Day in the Life of Jimmy Denisovich Smokestack Books, 2014
119 pages, £7.95
ISBN 978-0-9927409-1-7

Should we accept the world as it is or rebel against it? Whether we choose to love or hate, make the law or break it, go mad or snatch brief moments of happiness, we all must cling to someone or something to complete the 'me-shaped space' of our lives. One Day in the Life of Jimmy Denisovich is a book of poems about entropy and cruelty, 'shrapnel heads' and airport toilets, digestive biscuits and marmalade. It's a 1970's double album about trying to keep calm in a random and accelerating universe. A mercilessly bleak, blackly humorous contemporary Totentanz of shoplifters, bankers, looters, dead poets and men who can't tie their own shoelaces.


A poet of the engaged moment. When you take a walk in a Graham Fulton poem you know you’ve been somewhere and that you’d like to take a stroll again in the same company. There are poems here that invigorate like a hard walk across the fells or a run from the law. Funny as fuck, too.’
Tom Pickard

One of the outstanding attributes of Paisley-based poet Graham Fulton is his clarity. His poems present things in everyday language and invite us to see the poetry in them. He’s also very funny. As we know, poetry books don’t sell well, but it would be gratifying to see this one becoming the exception.’
The Herald

Striking and precise imagery … refined lyricism. Fulton is a poet who seems to speak from inside the moment, and some of these poems are endowed with the aim of picking apart time itself, to analyze, escape from, or overcome it.’
The Recusant

Fulton is a poet of keen attention and dark humour …The Ironing is a tender poem that ranks with Eamon Greenan’s A Gentle Art or Seamus Heaney’s Clearances. Fulton celebrates these people and our shared humanity. His affection for them and the other characters that populate One Day in the Life of Jimmy Denisovich is genuine and infectious.’
Poetry Salzburg

A Mayakovskian slap in the face of public taste... reminds us of the timeless belligerence of a stuck-out tongue.’

Glasgow Review of Books

Fulton displays little intent to cross the thresholds to money, fame, status and prizes … his poems are never written out of that convinced discovery which is the origin of much contemporary poetry; he isn’t trying to tell the reader how wise or sensitive he is, nor how superior in perception. He is at home with the urban, buses, trains, streets, pubs, shops and with its inhabitants. Fulton doesn’t dissect the ideas which mask the interests of those in control, rather he depicts the way everything is saturated in a mode of experience which serves their power.’

Mistress Quickly's Bed

The ‘narrator’ hurtles through the random beats of existence from youth to the finale. The terror of otherness, aliens, aging and death is observed with razor sharp wit, both funny and apocalyptic. The absurdity of existence is here tenderly observed.’

He writes and publishes a lot, yet as a poet he never does anything wrong ... for the title of his next book I would like to suggest Fulton Misses Nothing.’
Sally Evans, Northwords Now

Graham Fulton Poetry From Scotland