John Anthony Burgess Wilson (1917–93) was an industrious writer. He published over fifty books, thousands of essays and numerous drafts and fragments survive. He predicted many of the struggles and challenges of his own and the following century. His most famous book is A Clockwork Orange (1962), later adapted into a controversial film by Stanley Kubrick.
The linguistic innovations of that novel, the strict formal devices used to contain them, and its range of themes are all to be found too in Burgess’s poetry, an area of his work where he was at once most free and most experimental. It is his least exposed and most complex and eloquent area of achievement, now revealed at last in all its richness. His flair for words, formal discipline, experimentalism, and fondness for variousness mark every page.