In his tenth collection, Roddy Lumsden returns to some familiar themes in his work: the trials of oneness versus twoness, the seduction of small calamities, and vice versa. And the everyday mysteries, of running water, salt and sugar, roller skates and back-up flats. So Glad I'm Me also contains many 'conflation poems' where Lumsden has knocked the square peg of one subject through the round hole of another, often music-related. There are poems here about many songs and musicians, ranging from cult artists like Alex Chilton and Robin Holcomb to big names like Elvis and Morrissey. As ever, he relishes unusual words (nestlecock, twofer, farnesol) and interesting, taut forms, alongside a new strand of mid-length, discursive pieces in the spirit of Chicagoan poets Albert Goldbarth and Marianne Boruch. Lighter and less inward looking than in other recent collections, So Glad I'm Me is Lumsden's most optimistic and accessible book since The Book of Love.
Roddy Lumsden's first book Yeah Yeah Yeah (1997) was shortlisted for Forward and Saltire prizes. His second collection The Book of Love (2000), a Poetry Book Society Choice, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2004) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His latest collections are Third Wish Wasted (2009), Terrific Melancholy (2011), Not All Honey (2014), which was shortlisted for the Saltire Society's Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award, and So Glad I'm Me (2017). His anthology Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2010. He is a freelance writer, specialising in quizzes and word puzzles, and has represented Scotland twice on BBC Radio 4's Round Britain Quiz. He has held several residencies, including ones with the City of Aberdeen, St Andrews Bay Hotel, and as "poet-in-residence" to the music industry when he co-wrote The Message, a book on poetry and pop music (Poetry Society, 1999). His other books include Vitamin Q: a temple of trivia, lists and curious words (Chambers Harrap, 2004). Born in St Andrews, he lived in Edinburgh for many years before moving to London.