When I read a poetry collection, my desire is to know the poet by the time I read the final piece. I crave an insight, a journey, no matter how small, something I can recognise because I have seen it before in my reflection; and allow it to move me.
Fulkerson’s debut poetry collection, The Glenmore Sessions, achieves just this. His words made me laugh, made me smile, made me think and brought tears to my eyes. At times he writes about the perils of drinking too much alcohol, in ‘Frank’; or our collective loss of innocence as the years roll by, in ‘Sonic Youth’; or the bittersweet taste of nostalgia, in ‘Springsteen’. Writer and reader fluctuate in and out of giggles, deep thought and the reveries which sting as Fulkerson reveals to you his inner fears, queries and qualms. Some of the best pieces are incredibly succinct: ‘Kissed the Heavens’ and ‘The Anatomy of a Poet’ are worthy of a standing ovation.
Fulkerson has mastered his craft and created a collection which is clearly of the 21st century and yet warms you through with the whiskey of history as you make your way to the end. In today’s world where anyone can wield an image with a few words and call themselves a poet, I am happy to say Fulkerson really is a poet. The kind we’ve been reading for years; intelligent, original and human.