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Kraków Testimonies

Piotr Florczyk

Kraków Testimonies

What happened to Kraków’s Jews? The poet Piotr Florczyk, who was born in Kraków, set himself the task of finding out, and to this end listened to recorded testimonies of Holocaust survivors from Kraków at the Visual History Archive during a period of research study at the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Centre.

In the poems collected here, Florczyk retells the stories of these survivors for a new audience, exploring their interactions with their surroundings, their families, their neighbours and their oppressors.

Thus there emerges, through the work of the poet as story-teller, not only a shared history of Kraków but, for the reader, a sense of those voices that might otherwise be forgotten, speaking again in poems of extraordinary clarity and simplicity.

  • Chapbook £8.00 £7.20 available

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Invisible

Jacek Gutorow

Invisible

Invisible is a teasing title for a collection of poetry. [Wallace] Stevens, with whose work Jacek Gutorow has a deep and sustained engagement, suggested in ‘The Creations of Sound’, that poems should ‘make the visible a little hard / To see’ […] Both Gutorow and Stevens develop a poetic medium that maintains an oscillating dialectic between the seen and the unseen. The invisible operates not as an occlusion of reality, but as an aura saturating what is described; images are gently prised from the contexts of time and place and invested with a mysterious in-between life...

Mark Ford, from the Introduction to Invisible
  • Paperback £11.99 £10.79 available

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After Dante: Poets in Purgatory

ed. Nick Havely

After Dante: Poets in Purgatory

Dante's Purgatorio has been described as the most 'human' of the three parts of his Comedy, and it can also be seen as a 'singing school' for poets. This new complete translation by sixteen contemporary poets enters into dialogue with Dante's text by rendering it in a variety of different Anglophone voices — American, Australian, British, Irish, Jamaican, Scottish and Singaporean. The poets in this Purgatorio adopt a range of forms, from blank verse to terza rima, and their translations are accompanied by explanatory notes, a 'prelude' of poems about Purgatory, and a 'postscript' of newly-translated medieval Italian lyrics relating to Dante and his poem.

  • Paperback £19.99 £17.99 available

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Solar Eclipse 1914

Arseny Tarkovsky

Solar Eclipse 1914

Readers will be deeply grateful to the late Peter Oram for giving new life to the work of a major Russian poet who has never been fully recognized in the English- speaking world – even if his haunting words have been heard in Russian by the millions who have seen his son’s film Mirror.

Arseny Tarkovsky lived through the Soviet period from beginning to end, preserving his inner independence and leaving a precious legacy of memorable lyrics that achieve a dream-like potency of suggestion. Oram’s inventive and beautifully shaped translations combine in an exemplary way poetic freedom and a careful attention to the form and the sentiment of the originals.

Peter France, Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh
  • Paperback £10.99 £9.89 available

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The Night We Were Dylan Thomas

Mara Bergman

The Night We Were Dylan Thomas

Like a great photographer, MARA BERGMAN celebrates the moment and detail at the core of memory. Together, her poems show the great changes families experience – the free and fearless life of a young woman set alongside a dying mother hanging on so she can hold a great-grandchild, the one-sided conversations we have with the dead.

Her dynamism is infectious – you are drawn into this family’s wonder, love, compassion, grief and happiness. Bergman’s poems remind me of Pablo Neruda’s belief in the driving force of love: ‘Hold on to that, don’t let it get away …’ and one of the final poems, ‘The Happiness’, delivers the book’s message: ‘Before it leaves, I will bury it deep enough to save.’

After reading these poems, you’ll feel braced and ready, you’ll feel wiser and more generous, you’ll want to hold on to moments that contain your own astonishment.

Jackie Wills

A welcome and most welcoming varied new collection of Mara Bergman’s richly textured and sharply focused poems that explore and celebrate what she memorably calls ‘the gloriously ordinary’.

Michael Laskey
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Eye of the Times

Paul Celan

Eye of the Times

Paul Celan is famous as a poet whose life and work were overshadowed by the Holocaust, and the loss of his parents in a concentration camp. There have been many translations of what is generally agreed to be his very complex poetry, each reflecting a different angle of approach to what is generally agreed to be his very complex poetry. Celan was known to have a special interest in language, in the way words work and the way in which they can be misused and can misrepresent – this is why he so often revised his poetry. Jean Boase-Beier’s particular approach to translating Celan focuses on his use of words, and her illuminating introduction and her notes contextualizing each of the poems in this chapbook are invaluable in helping the reader to their own interpretation.

  • Chapbook £8.00 £7.20 available

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Travellers

Michelene Wandor

Travellers

MICHELENE WANDOR’s new poetry collection travels in many directions, through Europe, the Middle East and beyond, with travellers as various as Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Isabella d’Este and Lucrezia Borgia. Thematically, the poems alight at Greek mythology, gender, and the evergreens of love, anguish, power and tragedy.

The first and final touchpoints lie in the language itself, which is both guide and sustenance. Lyrical, narrative and startlingly evocative, the words and poetic shapes travel down and across pages and spaces, and continue to resonate in mind and memory.

A rich and remarkable collection — Alan Brownjohn

  • Chapbook £8.00 £7.20 available

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In My Garden of Mutants

Volha Hapeyeva

In My Garden of Mutants

This bilingual chapbook offers an introduction to the work of the prize-winning Belarusian poet Volha Hapeyeva, in Annie Rutherford’s beautifully modulated translations.

The themes which Volha Hapeyeva deals with are not the easiest: war, death, gender. But she doesn’t make it hard for the reader to follow her lyrical confrontation with these themes. Hapeyeva’s language gains its power from its almost laconic simplicity. Her poetry evokes melody; combativeness exudes from all the text pores of the poems.

Jury's statement on selecting Hapeyeva as the Graz City Writer, 2019/20

You can see a specially-commissioned filmpoem of 'And She Dreamt About the Word' (with thanks to Annie Rutherford and Volha Hapeyeva).

  • Chapbook £8.00 £7.20 available

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Gravity for Beginners

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Gravity for Beginners

In Kevin Crossley-Holland’s first new collection of poems for six years, time and thought and memory – the breath of life – are the prevailing winds, while much of the ground it inhabits is the ‘heavenly squelch’ of his own north Norfolk where ‘the word on the tip of your tongue may be sacramental’.

Crossley-Holland uncovers not only words but an entire landscape which haunts and is rich in echoes.

Helen Dunmore, The Observer

His language has been honed by the Norfolk and Suffolk climate itself, and has the polish of split flint.

Ronald Blythe

His poetry is accessible yet uncompromisingly contemporary...

John Greening, Country Life

It takes a pause in the familiar current of one's consciousness to come to one's accustomed place afresh and — as Eliot put it — 'know the place for the first time'. [...] The ability to see the essence behind the appearance is an art in which Crossley-Holland has few, if any, equals.

Grahame Davies, Book 2.0
  • Paperback £10.99 £9.89 available

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The Marks on the Map

Brian Johnstone

The Marks on the Map

The treasure's there / only for the finding.
Every good poem is an expedition of sorts. In lesser work we are led towards a carefully landscaped revelation which always belongs wholly to the poet, but in the effective poem we're set loose and, following a map partly of our own making, find ourselves at last in a distant corner of ourselves. In The Marks on the Map Brian Johnstone takes us on a remarkable journey, not just to discover what is there, but also what was there, mapping time as well as space. This is one map I would urge readers to follow, because the world through which Johnstone guides us is so utterly moving, so totally familiar and so entirely new.

John Glenday

Surefooted in his work as cartographer of the overlooked, Johnstone takes us on an expansive journey in this absorbing collection of tributes, stories and memories as he maps out the effects of time on people and places. Throughout, we encounter that characteristic Johnstone timbre — one of respect, sophistication and, above all, grace.

Rachael Boast
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