Unexpected people that we meet, situations that we find ourselves in, and objects that we discover often change us. In his new collection of skilfully crafted poems, Personal Encounters, Laurence Hutchman speaks of his favourite artists and writers, poets such as Li Po, R. M. Rilke, Layton, Purdy and Cohen, who shaped his own poetics. With an intensity of full attention, he engages us with his subjects, discovers for us new meanings in their work, and lets us flow in the present moment of thought, making his experience part of our own. By creating an original sense of the history of his subjects, he commands us to look at them as if for the first time. Sometimes it's by an unusual situation as when Hutchman evokes a canvas of Mondrian in the tiles surrounding a whirlpool bath, or after waking in a post-operation state in the recovery room, when he imagines Chagall's poet flying over the village in Belarus. When he is describing the paintings of his partner, Eva Kolacz, or intimate moments they share, he speaks out of places we have been or imagined. Hutchman's poetry is immediate and personal, showing his attraction to people and objects that promise an encounter beyond our everyday experience.