Dear Room is a worthy successor to Billy's Rain (1999), whose preoccupations and occasions it continues and ramifies, charting the 'angles, signals, orders, murmurs, sighs' of love, separation and loss. With grave good humour, ruefully exact timing and a scruple reminiscent of Thomas Hardy, these poems register the goodbye look of things, and ponder the difference between a good memory and an inability to forget. By turns candid, caustic and drastically self-accusing, the many tenses and afterlives of desire are parsed - in sawn-off monologues, short stories in verse, thumbnail dramas, splintery photographs. In poem after poem Hugo Williams joins a sense of things missed and missing to a redemptive act of imaginative capture, and Dear Room uncovers an ethics of the present, reminding us in the words of Philip Larkin that 'days are where we live'.

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