A Poetry Daily selection

“Suddenly the City”

“Procrastination Over”


button_classroom materials
button_classroom materials
button_classroom materials

Metropolitan Tang is Cambridge poet Linda Bamber’s first book of poetry, a debut that is erudite and sassy, urban and urbane. Whether she is examining the breakup of her marriage or watching bulls in a field, considering Derrida’s concepts of “presence”; or her hairdresser’s less theoretical philosophy, Bamber receives stimuli as indiscriminately as an antenna, all eyes and ears; then her sharp and curious mind gets to work, turning over images and ideas until she finds their proper relations, making meaning out of random juxtapositions, sense out of chaos, or, if nothing else, a good joke out of a bad situation. Most first books of poetry are tentative experiments in voice; Bamber’s voice, sensitive and, at the same time, wry, is clear throughout, uniquely hers and eminently likeable.


As a reader I have often wished, over the years, for a female poet in the style of [Frank] O’Hara: bopping but sincere, humanistic and grounded but exuberant and irreverent. Linda Bamber may be that person.
–Tony Hoagland

Linda Bamber’s poems are edgy, aware, urgent and dazzling. I love their sudden shifts and disruptive methods – her insistence on connections most of us would like to deny. There are dark truths here, expressed with wit and feeling . . . a first-rate book.
–Katha Pollitt

Linda Bamber’s poems offer the deepest of pleasures. Often funny, and alert to the intricacies and surprising, eruptive energy of colloquial speech, this work deftly mixes the quotidian with the historical, literary, religious and philosophical.
–Laurie Sheck

The interplay between sophisticated irony and candid emotional vulnerability gives Linda Bamber’s poetry its characteristic charming truthfulness. Bamber never pretends not to know she’s writing a poem, but at the same time she often gives the feeling that she’s talking with us over a glass of wine. I love the many surprises presented by her work.
–Mark Halliday

Conversational brio, a feel for the times, a willingness to follow her own misdirections, a raconteur’s send of timing . . . a major achievement.
— Ron Slate