• Image of The Toll (signed)

The Toll

An escaped lion roams the streets of Essex; a lonely pensioner holds a tower block fête; and the silent majority takes to the streets.

Travel the unfashionable A-roads and commuter lines of England — ‘where industry meets marsh’ — with poet Luke Wright. Discover a country riven by inequality and corruption but sustained by a surreal, gallows humour.

The Toll combines the elegaic with the anarchic, placing uproarious satire cheek-by-jowl with wild experiments in form and touching poems of parenthood. In lines perfected on roads, stages and radio shows across the country, Luke Wright captures the strain of austerity Britain, speaking truth to power and registering the toll it takes on us all.

The Toll
2017, Penned in the Margins
100pp | £9.99


Sharp, gritty and warm by turns … an overview of the mingled corruptions, humour and blessings of living in … modern Britain. – The Skinny

Life in today’s Britain takes its toll on so many, including the characters in the poems, and no contemporary poet understands or conveys that better than Wright. – Jacqueline Saphra, The Poetry School

The Toll is a rich collection that is diversely peppered with the comedic and the moving. A master of sound, [Wright] invokes the traditional poetry canon and places it with the decidedly modern reflections of the state of England in 2017. – Chloe Vaughan, The Manchester Review