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— Víctor Rodríguez Núñez


by Jos Smith

Subterranea is a first collection of poetry by Jos Smith that explores the relationship of our human world to the earth that underpins it. At times delicate and curious, at times painfully unbalanced, it is a relationship of always precarious intimacy, and one that is often most vividly apprehended in the imagination. Subterranea is a collection that measures its own poetic form against the earth's resistance, knowing full well that if there is to be any relationship at all something must give in us; that perhaps there might even be an art to this giving.

Jos Smith digs into the landscape of South West England and beyond to unearth dreamlike layers of individual, cultural and ecological memory. A sense of collective responsibility haunts these careful, well-crafted poems. Here, geography is history, language is music, and human creativity a facet of nature. In the remarkable central sequence 'A Plume of Smoke', which bears witness to the Torrey Canyon oil spill of 1967, sea, land, plants, animals, birds and people react to the disaster as part of a single organism which, in its uneasy recovery, becomes an emblem for our relation to the whole planet.

Katrina Porteous

pbk 9781910345702
hbk 9781910345719
Published September 2016

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