'In Sheet Music, John Upton's second collection of poetry, his meditations on people and places are at the same time moving and personal, and sweepingly international. These poems travel: they make pit-stops in both strange and familiar territory, they linger at destinations. They take you on a wild ride through a range of deftly-handled poetic forms, and always they touch down on the human heart.
Upton has a gift for dark humour, understated irony and incisive imagery, and his vision ranges from the impact of broken relationships and our connection with other sentient creatures, to the futility of war and empty patriotism. Through often unexpected analogies and startling imagery, his poems probe the nature and progress of grief and illness, and the ways the body, and the body politic, can betray the self. At times colloquial and irreverent, or formal and imagistic, they affirm the radiance that can be found all around and within us, despite the provisionality and chaos of existence.' (Publication summary)