Overheard in a Tower Block


Poetry is the most accessible literary form. Brevity of text and the need to tell the story through visual images and experiences enables poets to create a page that is immediate and recognisable. The poems in Joseph Coelho’s ‘Overheard in a Tower Block‘ are personal, as in ‘Trainers‘ (fears that the trainers gifted by his father will not be perfect after a day’s wear), or ‘Crockery‘ (escaping the tirade of plates thrown from an overhead neighbour’s balcony). They offer glimpses of the poet’s thoughts and feelings that invite us to compare and consider. The poetry is direct, telling, raw and real.

Bookwagon recommends ‘Overheard in a Tower Block‘ to our readers/ It is a superb poetry collection, often hard-hitting, but always real  approachable and meaningful.

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Overheard in a Tower Block

Poems by Joseph Coelho

Illustrated by Kate Milner

(Otter-Barry Books)

Overheard in a Tower Block‘ offers a selection of personal, observational, experiential poetry. It is Joseph Coelho’s 21st perspective of our lives. However, it’s one boy’s life, from earliest memory through adolescence. What’s more, there are hurts and wonders, discoveries and setbacks. Furthermore, we’re party to his family separation and the sadness and tugs he feels about his situation.
Thereafter there are the sights and sounds, from the red trainers that flicker throughout. It seems that these poems are like the flashing images of memory or comprehension. Therefore, we’re made aware of the smell of the bins and the sounds of people arguing storeys below. Then again, we’re aware of the solace and hope found in the library. Like Luna Loves Library Day there is a recognition of the power of books to give a gateway to life.
Joseph Coelho is a power house of words and feelings and experiences. What’s more, he’s able to create poems of such variety, intricacy and meaning that we stop and reflect and know. Therefore, he invites us to step into the sounds and experiences of a life. It seems to Bookwagon, that readers will seek to hear, read and recognise the observations and experiences of Overheard in a Tower Block. Altogether, we recommend this pithy, perfect poetry selection highly for classrooms and homes.


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