Review: Archery in the UK | Ingrid Wilson & Nick Reeves

Archery in the UK is a special collection, published by Experiments in Fiction, as it is a collaboration between Ingrid Wilson and Nick Reeves and tells their story. A story of love, distance and missives through the extended metaphor of archery. Think Cupid’s bow but far more tender; Archery in the UK embodies agape not eros with stunning lyricism and poetic partnership.

When read apart, Wilson and Reeves are very different poets. Wilson has the innate ability to capture landscapes and our place within them, while Reeves is a master of humour and subtlety. And yet, despite their contrasts, together they triumph. Both are undoubtedly experts in their craft – particularly when it comes to reviving a lyricism, form and metre that is rare to find.

Archery in the UK begins with a sense of love at first sight entangled with distance; there is a clear back and forth between the poets, portraying the expanse between them and the longing which seeks to fill it, their wish to build a bridge over the days, weeks, they spend apart, to join hands once again. As the collection progresses, the distance between the poets and also their individual style lessens. The reader is witness to a coming together and marriage of words and desire. Nature’s life and beauty, music, and comfort found within one another, supersede the yearning of before.

This collection is a beautiful love story, blooming with rhythm and metaphor. Neither poets fall foul to the clichés which haunt love poetry. These poems are original, gorgeously entwined yet universal; these poems originated from one love story but can be comforting to many in love, many in long-distance relationships, and many who may need reminding why they fell in love with their significant other in the first place. Wilson and Reeves have captured what it is to care so deeply that all you see is the middle of the archery ring, the place, the person, you are always aiming to be beside.

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