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Lemon Sun

Ziba Karbassi

Lemon Sun

Exiled Iranian poet Ziba Karbassi has garnered a reputation outside of her home country as one of the foremost contemporary Persian poets. Her poetry tackles difficult themes with a mastery of craft and has received wide critical attention. Touching on issues ranging from the loss of one's home to the horrors of an execution by stoning, this selection of her poetry illustrates how Karbassi weaves together an array viscerally explosive emotions through a sustained virtuosic use of language and rhythm.

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Eternal Traffic

Mila Haugová

Eternal Traffic

Mila Haugová has written a moving book about the farewell of loved ones and the slipping away of one's own life. The starting point is a double loss: her mother dies and her lover goes his own way. During her dead mother's childhood and distant past, the loved ones have faced a hoped-for future. Now only a reduced daily life remains, shot through with ever present memories. Haugová overlays the departed, and now recalculated, images of childhood and days spent with her lover. Is it possible to find some memory of lost warmth in this cold world?

Re-encounter and farewells are one in Haugová's poetry: there are intimate companions in the absence of loved ones, in the acceptance of their disappearance, which over time develop a cathartic force that makes possible new love.

  • Paperback forthcoming
  • Hardback forthcoming

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Sometimes a Single Leaf

Esther Dischereit

Sometimes a Single Leaf

Whether in poetry, fiction, radio drama or sound installations, Esther Dischereit's work represents a unique departure in recent European writing: a distinctive, off-beat syntax of German-Jewish intimacy with the fractured consciousness and deeply rutted cultural landscape of today's Germany. Sometimes a Single Leaf, mirroring the development of Esther Dischereit's poetry across three decades, includes selections from three of her books as well as a sampling of more recent, uncollected poems. It is her first book of poetry in English translation.

From these splinters, flowers bloom:
where the dead lie, trees grow and
we must walk among them. In these poems,
Esther Dischereit, whose mother was one
of the few who survived the Holocaust
in hiding within Nazi Germany,
lays the present over the past with
piercing effect. This is a necessary statement
of life by an important writer; and
Iain Galbraith's excellent translation will bring
all the vital, strange wisdom it contains
to a new audience. We could not need
this book more than we do now.

Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young / Wir, die wir jung sind

  • Hardback forthcoming
  • Paperback forthcoming

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Maps of Desire

Manuel Forcano

Maps of Desire

Manuel Forcano, the outstanding Catalan poet, is a great traveller, and the poems in this, his first full-length book in English translation, embrace the cities, the landscapes and the people of the Middle East. Drawn from his four most recent collections, these poems use geographical and historical references to deepen and inform the narrative, and also to lay before the reader the idea of the continuity, over many centuries, of human love and desire. The beauty, joy, grief and tenderness in these poems are universal and belong to every kind of human affection - indeed Forcano has been described by the Catalan journalist and academic Pere Ballart as 'our foremost love poet'.

Anna Crowe's beautiful translations demonstrate a remarkable understanding of, and sensitivity to, Forcano's poetry, so much so that one might say that Maps of Desire represents the perfect union of poet and translator.

In Maps of Desire, Manuel Forcano deals with gay desire with a whirlwind-like freshness and a passionate imagination that does at times remind me a little of Cavafy with a gale behind him, some of the poems being written in Cavafy's own city, Alexandria. Forcano is a many-sided scholar but he is primarily an outstanding lyric poet, beautifully rendered into English by Anna Crowe. The book begins with two sections of 'The Bagdad Train', a sweeping journey in pursuit of desire. This is a fragment of a shorter poem, 'Checkmate':

..I got drunk just seeing you,
and playing chess was an excuse
for watching your fingers
moving the pieces of your army
towards me. How sweet
it can sometimes turn out to be,
being defeated: on the board
your castle knocking over
my king.
Many nights
you lined up your pawns
to face me.

George Szirtes

  • Paperback £10.99 £9.89 available
  • Hardback £13.99 £12.59 available

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A Friable Earth

Jackie Wills

A Friable Earth

Jackie Wills brings a multitude of characters to these poems including a young man sleeping in his car, an amateur entomologist, bird catchers, her jilted aunt, Ray Dorset, the three Robins, the office cleaner, family, friends and several gardeners. Her poems move from the GP surgery to eye clinic, dance studio to allotment, back and forward in time and from Brighton's streets to the landscapes of South Africa. In this collection, a woman caught unawares by a changing body and attitudes as she ages strains to see the funny side of her last smear. But there are also many elegies and tributes to old friends in A Friable Earth, Wills' sixth collection of poems. Her work has been described as irreverent, bewitching, compassionate and surreal. She's written extensively about women's lives. She's also worked an allotment for 20 years.

  • Paperback £9.99 £8.99 available
  • Hardback £12.99 £11.69 available

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The Caprices

James Byrne

The Caprices

The Caprices is a sequence of poems written in response to Goya's Los Caprichos, a series of aquatints in the Prado Museum in Madrid. Each of the 80 poems is illustrated by the etching to which it responds, and shares its title. As James Byrne writes in his introduction: "Goya's Los Caprichos are a series of real-life nightmares that haunt the twenty-first century. [...] Arguably, the world we live in today is more terrifying than Goya's Spain because - in over two hundred years since he created Los Caprichos - we have become more cool about human inhumanity. The echo grows louder, the world becomes more absurd, more criminal and yet, perversely, our collective response all too often verges on the whimsical. Goya, echoing in his deafness, hears our own, capturing all these elements variously throughout his masterwork."

  • Paperback £10.99 £9.89 available
  • Hardback £13.99 £12.59 available

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Not on the Side of the Gods

Anna Crowe

Not on the Side of the Gods

Anna Crowe writes to rescue obscure stories and give a voice to things that have no voice. Her poems celebrate the mystery and diversity of the natural world while mourning its fragility. Birds fly in and out of poems in which lurk extraordinary invertebrates and strange plants; the vulnerability of human lives and family relationships is another concern. One of the foremost translators of Catalan poetry into English, her appetite for language is rooted in her love of music. The Poetry Book Society selectors described her poems as "sinewy and questing, alive with memory and attentive to the interior landscape.

  • Paperback £9.99 £8.99 available
  • Hardback £12.99 £11.69 available

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The Unknown Neruda

Pablo Neruda

The Unknown Neruda

'The greatest poet of the 20th century', Chilean poet Pablo Neruda has been published across the globe. Remarkably, some of this Nobel Prize-winner's verse has never been published in English; this book fills much of that gap. Neruda's poetry is a fusion of beautiful love poetry and politically engaged verse, lyrical and apocalyptic by turns.

  • Paperback £10.99 £9.89 available
  • Hardback £13.99 £12.59 available

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The Iron Flute: War Poetry from Ancient & Medieval China

ed. Kevin Maynard

The Iron Flute: War Poetry from Ancient & Medieval China

This anthology contains first-hand accounts from those involved in the conflicts of ancient China. Many of these poems are translated into English for the first time; they invoke powerful, terrible images of ancient warfare, beautifully brought to life. The poetry within this book spans more than sixteen centuries and includes the work of 50 poets.

  • Paperback £10.99 £9.89 available
  • Hardback £13.99 £12.59 available

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Camp Notebook

Miklós Radnóti

Camp Notebook

Camp Notebook is a masterpiece in its own right, a crucial work of European verse. It is one of the greatest pieces of literature to emerge from the Holocaust, and probably the finest volume of poetry born from the horror of the Second World War.

  • Paperback £9.99 £8.99 available

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