England's unofficial laureate mixes the matter and speech of the gutter in his angry, why-are-we-here- poems, but he uses meter for the jobPeter Reading's poems from twenty-five years and eighteen books have been published in two volumes, the first, Poems 1970-1974, in 1995 - "A poetry of foul moods. But it is also a poetry that insists on angry intelligence over world-weary head-shaking". -- Publishers Weekly. For a poet to be collected like this, at the age of fifty in mid-career, is unusual, but not for Reading -- prolific, distinctive and controversial. His is an epic lament for a species given to cruelty and self-destruction. Generally, rhyme provides the backbone for public poetry. What sets Reading apart is his use of mostly classical dactylic meter, with Latin hexameters, couplets, and older Greek forms.