The poems in Welsh poet Robert Minhinnick's latest collection were written with a keen awareness of both climate change and the current situation in the Middle East. King Driftwood draws upon the poet's travels in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Argentina, and his 25 years in the environmental movement. Politically-charged poems such as "An Opera in Baghdad" and "An Isotope, Dreaming" address the political and environmental destruction wrought by the ongoing war in Iraq. Moving closer to home, poems such as "The Saint of Tusker Rock" and "The Castaway" are vivid evocations of the historical and modern communities of the Welsh coast, where the poet lives. They introduce us to a cast of memorable characters, from treasure-hunters to drug dealers, from ancient Celtic warriors to eccentrics from the local funfair. A sensitivity to the sonic structures of Welsh language poetry runs throughout the book, lending the poems their vigorous musicality and rhythmic energy.
Robert Minhinnick was born in 1952 and lives in south Wales. He has been the winner of a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award, and has twice won the Forward Prize for best individual poem, while his books of essays have twice won the Wales Book of the Year Prize. Robert Minhinnick edited Poetry Wales magazine from 1997 to 2008. His first novel, Sea Holly (Seeren) was shortlisted for the 2008 Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize. He is an advisor to the environmental charity Sustainable Wales.