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Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (72 pages)
(Pub. Nov 1999)
Gabriel Levin’s second collection builds confidently on his highly praised first. In graceful, exacting lyrics, he addresses subjects wrested from a stark, natural world of ‘fire and ash’ desert tints, and its diverse, vital heritage, with a rare sensitivity to the life of things past as well as present. In Ostraca his journey through the Mediterranean and the Levant is attuned to a wide mix of voices (among them, the lone voice of a sentry, pieced together from five potsherds or ‘ostraca’) and a range of times and places, from the Sahara, Cyprus, Byzantine Mount Athos and war-torn Lebanon to his refractory, adopted Jerusalem, and an emerging Palestine.
'The poems are richly layered, musical explorations of the act of translation, from experience into art, and from the ancient world into the present...Given the realized ambition, technical achievement and stunning visual quality of this collection, Levin, for the foreseeable future at least, seems similarly set to stay.'
Sinead Morrisey, PN Review March-April, 2000
Praise for Gabriel Levin 'This is an exquisite book. It is not often that one journeys through poetic lands with such breathless anticipation as I have done through The Maltese Dreambook...like all good poetry, his verses are multi-layered and demanding...Coleridge believed that language is the vehicle through which divinity passes into humanity and that poets are the true guardians of it. In Levin one could not wish for a more passionate and imaginative guardian.'
Sonja Besford, Ambit
'Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, the poet Gabriel Levin has written another erudite, modernist and intellectually stimulating volume, Errant.'
Peter Lawson, The Jewish Chronicle
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