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The Illegal Age

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The Illegal Age

by Ellen Hinsey

Part of our Arc International Poets series

Poetry Book Society Choice

Ellen Hinsey's new book-length sequence, The Illegal Age, is a powerful investigation into the twentieth-century's dark legacy of totalitarianism and the rise of political illegality. It explores the enduring potential for human beings to set neighbour against neighbour and commit final acts of violence. A book of lyrical reflection and prophesy, The Illegal Age chronicles the arrival of a new, disquieting reality unfolding in our midst.

As Marilyn Hacker has written, "In dialogue with Celan, Szymborska, Milosz... this is a daring text - for its political acuity, and for its demonstration of the power in poetry to recount, remember, move the heart while opening the mind."

Written in parallel with her first-hand research into the rise of authoritarianism carried out over the last decade, Hinsey's volume warns that - rather than an "Age of Anxiety" - we may indeed be facing the start of the "Illegal Age".

The Illegal Age is a volume of prophesy as much as poetry. [...] Its sections move from laconic proverbial observation to tragedy and so enable us to recognise that the two share the same urgent field.

George Szirtes

Ellen Hinsey's remarkable new book moves in fugal segues from narrative to lyric, from the ghetto to the gulags to today's disintegrating polis, in dialogue with Celan, Szymborska, Milosz. This is a daring text - for its political acuity, and for its demonstration of the power in poetry to recount, remember, move the heart while opening the mind.

Marilyn Hacker

ISBN pbk 978-1-911469-37-7
ISBN hbk 978-1-911469-38-4
ISBN ebk 978-1-911469-39-1
Published July 2018