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At the Edge of Night

by Anise Koltz

Bilingual English / French edition

Translated (from the French) by Anne-Marie Glasheen
Introduced by Caroline Price

Part of our Visible Poets series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

At the Edge of Night, a selection from four recent collections by Anise Koltz, brings the work of Luxembourg's best-known poet to the attention of the English-speaking literary world for the first time.

Written in Koltz's prolific seventh decade, these brief poems — with their short, unpunctuated lines, clearly separated stanzas and powerful, direct language — are both personal and universal. This is not a gentle book. These poems pulse with anger, anger directed at the poet herself and her personal circumstances, and also at life, the world and God.

Koltz originally wrote in German but switched to French which her translator, Anne-Marie Glasheen, believes gives her work some of its artistic power: This is poetry unlike any I have come across before. It feels utterly European... it speaks to the reader directly, jumping cultural barriers. It is poetry which is knife-sharp, clear and dazzling.

Anise Koltz has lived in Luxembourg since 1928 and is that tiny nation's most prolific woman poet. In her seventh decade she continues to write poems that sear the reader with their inexhaustible honesty and willingness to confront the barbarism of existence. To read Koltz is to stand rooted before the oncoming blades of a combine. There is no tinsel, no indulgent peripheral detail or clever lead-ins. She begins as she means to go on, with an unequalled icy precision, each poem a minor operation carried out before the patient is even aware of what is happening. Her knife is sharp and its position perfectly judged.

Will Stone, The Warwick Review, Vol.IV, No.2, June 2010

ISBN: 978-1-904614-56-2 (pbk), 978-1- 906570-03-3 (hbk)
Dimensions: 138 x 216 mm
Pages: 158
Bilingual edition: French / English
Published March 2009

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