Don Paterson is one of Britain’s leading contemporary poets. A popular writer as well as a formidably intelligent one, he has won both a dedicated readership and most of Britain's major poetry prizes, including the T. S. Eliot Prize on two occasions, the Forward Prize in every category, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. In this first comprehensive study of Paterson’s poetry, Ben Wilkinson presents him as a modern-day metaphysical, whose work is characterised by guileful use of form, musicality, colloquial diction and playful wit, in pursuit of poetry as a moral and philosophical project. Drawing on a wide range of commentators, Wilkinson traces Paterson’s development from collection to collection, providing detailed close readings of the poems framed by theoretical and literary contexts. An essential guide for students, specialists, and the general reader of contemporary poetry, it presents Paterson as a major lyric poet.