Class-conscious, linguistically alive, wonderfully situated, the poems of JUST ASKING grab us by the scruff of the neck and drag us into their world. Whether their subjects are friends or mushrooms, museums or pumping stations, this is a poetry full of personality, great openings and highly effective endings. 'My life is full of conversations I do not have', says the speaker of one poem, but this writing is full of voices we are grateful to hear. Now comic, now melancholic, always companionable, always insightful, these are highly enjoyable, deeply rewarding poems. Jonathan Edwards
I enjoyed JUST ASKING for its poetry of conviction, of place, of injustice which is all served up with compassion, and the bite of wit. A hugely enjoyable experience which I’d recommend to all who seek a complex appreciation of our beloved isle. Daljit Nagra
"Bert Flitcroft's latest collection, JUST ASKING, is a gem. Here King Lear and The Angel of the North rub shoulders in electric storms; Camus philosophises with his wife about football; while Einstein, Mao and Marx sit alongside poems featuring Peppa Pig, Sainsbury's and the Co-op.
Whether exploring memories of growing up, the delights of parenthood, the demands of love, the industrial legacy of machinery and engines, the specialness of landscape and the natural world, and the challenge of mortality, Bert Flitcroft uses his finely-honed poetic sensibilities to transform the fleeting and transient into something essentially real and memorable. The fresh imagery and perceptive visual description underpinned by a keen wit reveal a strongly-individual poetic voice, whose wisdom is both worldly and warm. Its honesty, humanity and positivity are exceptional, and make this collection one to savour, cherish and re-read." Roger Elkin