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At the Skin Resort

At the Skin Resort

by James Sutherland-Smith

Bridport Poetry Prize Shortlist 1999

James Sutherland-Smith's first full collection of poetry for almost twenty years draws on his perceptions of Eastern Europe in the years following the collapse of communism. In At the Skin Resort, he registers his own relationship with a world which has emerged not so much from pure nightmare, but from a fitful sleep where fearful dreams were succeeded by moments of clarity or utter blankness. In the cold light of day, memory of those past times is difficult to recapture with any sense of certainty.

Old ghosts materialize and bring into the present ancient grace and brutality, nostalgia and a sense of the natural world which has persisted while so much else has failed to accord with expectations.

...this is an impressive book, its quiet style convincingly conveying a mood of calm and unfussy interpretations of life in another country.

Jim Burns, Ambit

These poems, as poetry has often been intended in times of conflict and rebuilding, are testament to the lives they compassionately uncover... buy the book.

Andy Brown, Stand

...a mine-shaft sunk deep into nature, sexuality and language that strikes rich ore...

Michèle Roberts, City Limits

72 pages

ISBN 1 900072 23 8
Published January 1999

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