J.O. Morgan's Assurances is the winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2018.
A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, it begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually assured destruction.
Using a mix of versed and unversed passages, Morgan places moments of calm reflection alongside the tensions inherent in guarding against such a permanent threat. A work of variations and possibilities, we hear the thoughts of those involved who are trying to understand and justify their roles. We examine the lives of civilians who are not aware of the impending danger, as well as those who are.