As the opening poem of this debut, Death of a Pie ‘n Mash Shop, attests: Chip Hamer is not your typical man of letters. A founding member of the Poets on the Picket Line squad, his poems have been bellowed against the din of rush hour traffic from picket lines throughout London, bringing solidarity and attention to workers across the capital. Chip’s first full collection is unflinching in its appraisal of the first fifteen years of the millenium, from New Labour’s descent into Middle Eastern conflicts to the ConDem government’s age of austerity. But while the outlook may seem grim, A Class Act is characterised by an attitude of stern determination and a tender, underlying empathy that never forgets the human story behind each headline and statistic. Revealing another passion, as a coach at the All Stars Boxing Gym, these poems jab, feint and move before catching you with a hard left hook.
Date: 1st May 2020
Extent: 68 pp