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King Driftwood

Robert Minhinnick

King Driftwood by Robert Minhinnick
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Categories: 21st Century, Welsh
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Jul 2008)
£9.95 £8.96
  • Description
  • Excerpt
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  • Awards
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    He scans the frames but doesn't stop,
    the fox who has come to the museum today,
    his eye in the renaissance
    and his brush in the baroque

    Between dynasties his footprints
    have still to fade, between the Shan and the Yung,
    the porcelain atoms shivering at his touch, drinking rice wine from the bowl,
    daintier than the eunuch pouring wine.

    from 'The Fox in the National Museum in Wales'

    King Driftwood teems with characters and narratives: treasure hunters, drug dealers, small-town eccentrics – blue-rinsed Mrs Dawes-Llewellyn, John the Song and Mothman, George Bush and Saddam Hussein glimpsed at a phantasmagoric funfair; the mourning women of Baghdad. Driven by a vigorous rhythmic energy, Robert Minhinnick’s poems evoke the dense and different realities of communities, the cadences of voices and weather, shared maps of streets and cafés, custom and memory, that define life in Wales, Iraq and Argentina. To a vivid sense of the textures of place, Minhinnick brings the internationalism of twenty-five years’ work in the environmental movement, an awareness of the dramas of the natural and human world that is profoundly political but never polemical. 

    Cover painting Franz Marc (1880-1916), The Fox, 1913. Kunstmuseum, Dusseldorf, Germany/ The Bridgeman Art Library. Cover design by

    Robert Minhinnick’s recent publications include the novels, Sea Holly (2007) and Limestone Man (2015) from Seren and Fairground Music: the World of Porthcawl Funfair (Gomer, 2010). He edited the international quarterly, Poetry Wales, 1997 – 2008, and received a major Creative Wales award in 2008 to write a collection of ... read more
    Awards won by Robert Minhinnick Short-listed, 2017 The T.S. Eliot Prize  (Diary of the Last Man ) Winner, 2018 Wales Book of the Year (Diary of the Last Man ) Winner, 2018 Roland Mathias Poetry Award (Diary of the Last Man )
    Praise for Robert Minhinnick 'This is environmentalism turned into elegy. It's so powerful, so political...These are serious poems for serious times..that will stay with you and make you think about what we're doing with the planet.' 

    Carolyn Hitt, Wales Book of the Year Awards Judge  

     'While Robert Minhinnick's Diary of the Last Man is rooted in the dunescapes of the author's hometown of Porthcawl, it is also a work that is intrinsically internationalist in outlook. The long title poem is a wry, standing-ovation-worthy requiem for humanity predominantly set on the Welsh coast but it could be argued that Minhinnick reserves his most powerful poetry for when he casts his eyes abroad.'
    Wales Arts Review Highlights of the Year 2017

     'Diary of the Last Man presents an unsentimental, indifferent world, filled with cruelty and atrocity but, while there may be no Jesus in Minhinnick's geology, there is no shortage of beauty and, filtered through the sands of his language, this beauty is arresting and memorable.'
    Poetry blogger John Field on the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize newsletter

    'It is in observing these cycles of sea and river, human and animal, that Minhinnick most excels, and his collection as a whole is beautifully and acoustically attuned to what is most precious in out lives and around us' Suzannah V Evans, New Welsh Review on Diary of the Last Man 'Robert Minhinnick's new collection confirms his status as one of the most important poets of these turbulent times. Bleakly elegiac, environmentally political, vital and visionary, his poems cast an extraordinary light over our darkening landscapes.'
    Carol Ann Duffy
    'After the Hurricane is a rich and rewarding collection, full of flinty fragments which light a bonfire of the imagination.'
    Planet: The Welsh Internationalist
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