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John Matthias

Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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Paperback (112 pages)
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Turns is the American poet John Matthias’s second collection of poems (Bucyrus appeared in America in 1971), and his first to be published in England. Many of the poems in Turns were first printed in English magazines, and his work has strong English associations and roots.

    The first part explores personal and political themes in the context of American cultural crisis: it deals with loss, actual and anticipated. The second section introduces by way of a series of variations, translations and portraits, questions of aesthetics, poetics and metaphysics which recur throughout this and the last section. If the second is the most austere, the third section is the most extravagant: its forms and idioms combine experimental innovation with translation and transmutation, using a wide range of sources as documentary material. From the ironies of the title poem John Matthias moves toward affirmation and the paradoxical sense of rootedness in a land not his own in the Epilogue, one of three overlapping epistolary poems which explore his American background in the light of his life in England.

    John Matthias was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1941. He has lived in California, Indiana, Suffolk, Cambridge and Scotland. He is Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, and has been Visiting Fellow in poetry at Clare Hall, Cambridge. His collections of poetry include Bucyrus, Turns, Crossing ... read more
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