"...a giant of a poet....":
"......Somehow, quite unexpectedly, and quite mysteriously, there has emerged a giant of a poet, a man with a voice so new, and yet so ancient, that a reading becomes difficult, not because of obscurity, but for the ease it would wish to generate. The man is called William Martin and the book is called Cracknrigg.....
.....The voice of the Celt, seeking to shatter, or, even making, the silence of the meadows and involving it with trees, insects, moon and sun.For me to write more will not effectively, describe the greatness of this poetry. It ascends from nature, into that expanse of meaning, either called the sky, or the soul, from which it will not descend, or attempt to fasten a limit....."
British Small Presses
".....passion for his subject is like the heritage of Northumbria itself, unrivalled....":
".....an ancient and honourable pedigree....":
"....at his best Martin has a rare directness and point; and his poetry has an ancient and honourable pedigree. Reading him was like looking into a mixing pot of poetry and things that will never again be quite the same."
Eddie Wainwright ENVOI 127 October 2000
".....a poetic storehouse for future generations.":
".....the final impression (of Craknrigg) is one of the excitement consequent upon a distinctive voiceand vision....Martin's forms appear to be as simply complex as a recovered childhood.....he has not abandoned utter song."
Chris McCully, PN Review
"....a poet of real stature...":
".....a poet of real stature, deeplyrooted in the history of the North but universal in his concern. To read Cracknrigg (Taxus 1983) is to glimpse a crucial vision."
Roger Garfitt, Arts North
[in respect of Marra Familia]..... "William Martin is a remembrancer, patently polishing the common coins of street games, folk songs and customs, and putting them back into circulationDavid Jones comes to mind, but not as an immediate ancestor. Martin seems closer to George Mackay Brown, firmly rooted in a specific community and able to give the elements of its common life a sacramental value. But perhaps he is closest of all to the Vasko Popa of Earth Erect, Eschewing private poetry to restore the collective symbols, releaf the icons with gold."
Roger Garfitt, London Magazine