There is still a place for the Poet Laureate in our society. Poetry makes the transition from something private to something that can be appreciated more widely when it strikes, like that errant ‘sun-shaft’, upon emotions and experiences that are in some sense universal, or in other words, human.
For me, the city of Florence means the Renaissance. For Simon Barraclough, it means Hannibal. In his debut collection, Los Alamos Mon Amour, culture as we know it has been annihilated by an atom bomb, specifically one designed at the eponymous US laboratory.