The poems in Dear Friend(s) explore the webs of experience that connect parents, extended families and friends, moulding us from our earliest days. In his debut pamphlet, Sugarman examines love, desire and friendship in many guises and locations. The long title poem is an elegy to a specific Dear Friend, dead from AIDS in its earliest years.
Poems of exceptional grace and wild sincerity.’ – Fiona Sampson
‘Dear Friend(s) takes on poetry’s big subjects: sex, love and death, with an explosive panache. Formally and linguistically daring, these poems range from elegies written in the shadow of AIDS to tender love lyrics that offer both hope and healing. A gloriously original contribution to the growing canon of queer poetry.’ – Jacqueline Saphra
‘Balancing survivor’s guilt with Whitmanesque strains of wonder, Dear Friend(s) is that rare thing—an elegy which engages with the potential failure of the elegy but ultimately goes on to revivify it; to ‘bring dead things to straining throats’. From the fireflies with their ‘savage air’, to the young man’s beard, ‘a biologically dead thing… marveled at’, to the spring lambs, ‘shreds of wool on wire barbs’, Sugarman’s is a poetic landscape of loss cut through with intense heat and longing.’ – Richard Scott