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The Book of Belongings

by Brian Johnstone

The Book of Belongings reads like an archaeology of the lost, its pages carefully uncovering and observing what has vanished, died or been abandoned. Visiting former theatres of war, remote landscapes of Scotland, France and Greece, pre-war classrooms and the nightmares of childhood, these poems are not afraid to gaze long and hard at what has been deliberately concealed, erased, or dismissed as worthless — the past with all its demons, its sad domestic litanies. Brian Johnstone writes with an enviable facility, often from unusual perspectives, eliding time and space, letting geography merge seamlessly into history and, in so doing, gives vanished histories a voice.

Brian Johnstone's work is highly crafted, accessible, often concerned with history and change. A mature, elegant collection by a gifted poet.

Kathleen Jamie

Here are poems about the elements, and the presence of the past in what it leaves behind. Many of them are strikingly beautiful and all of them are wonderfully well-made. This is a collection that readers will revisit over and over again.

Louis de Bernières

ISBN: 978-1-904614-75-3 (pbk), 978-1-906570-15-6 (hbk)

Dimensions: 138 x 216 mm
Pages: 84
Published August 2005

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