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an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
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ISBN: 978 1 857544 78 7
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 2000
217 x 131 x 6 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Words are such thin shavings of the fractal fruit,
tiny scrapings of the skin that holds
these joyously determined swirls of history
inside their juicy turbulence.
Talking itself westward after the day's feast,
each little word with its meaning strapped to
falls down the swell of tomorrow
like a hiker with hopeful new shoes.
'Purposefully Peeling Footsteps'
Karen Press has been a presence in English-language poetry for some time, her work represented in the anthologies Ten South African Poets and in New Poetries II (1999).
Home, however, is her first book to be published outside South Africa. She brings together work from 1990-5, the poems which she regards as 'exploratory tools along two axes of what it means to have a home'. The first axis is time: past to present, personal ancestors and public history, personal history and public ancestors. The other axis is spacial, in the present tense, the movement from home to home, exile to exile. Press draws on the history of a particular place at a particular time, but is aware that local struggles to reclaim a home and a narrative of one's own history are echoes of every person's struggle to be at home in the world.
Praise for Karen Press 'It is largely a poetry of whispers, of hints, of indirect statement, yet with cables as strong as steel for its backbone.'
South African Sunday Independent
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