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an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
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RRP: GBP 10.39
ISBN: 978 1 784100 72 8
Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Aspects of Portugal
Published: February 2016
184 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle), eBook (PDF)
‘Leighton’s language is surprisingly meaty. This is attentive, sure-footed poetry.’ - The Guardian
‘An original poet who may come to be an important one.’ - The Times
‘The density of Angela Leighton’s poetry is of the best kind.’ - The TLS
A clutch of twigs, the cradled fall-out from a gust of wind,
rough splints, spindles or withies, pencils or spills—
whatever they are, just a cross-hatched arrangement of space and air,
an architecture of accidentals, an absence addressed—
from ‘Canticles for a Passion ’
In Spills Angela Leighton combines poetry, memoir, libretto, short story, prose-poetry and translation, slipping between genres while hearing the conversations between them. ‘You start from who you are, and walk and walk’, she writes, in the spirit of free-voyaging that defines this collection. The prose tells, semi-fictionally, of the poet’s life as the daughter of a composer-father and Italian mother, a life split between languages and places, north and south, often among curious and memorable characters. The poems address related themes of place and language, war and peace, the landscape of southern Italy and the Christian story of the Passion. The conversations between different forms and motifs are a result of Leighton’s approach to writing almost as a strain of musical composition. The writing is often about music, but it is also a search for music in writing. The collection closes with a significant new body of translations and adaptations of the Sicilian poet Leonardo Sciascia, Spills’s luminous other voice, ‘seeking its own heart of music’
‘Angela Leighton’s genre-defying book – poetry, memoir, experiment in translation in its many and often surprising senses – explores with beautiful precision what she calls the “two-ply tongue”, a suggestive metaphor for the way we speak and think and write.’
— Patrick McGuinness
‘Outstanding among the excellent ... the poems ring like bells.’
— Anne Stevenson
‘This is one of those rare books that you know will become a kind of touchstone.’
— Jay Parini
'Outstanding among the excellent ... the poems ring like bells.'
Anne Stevenson 'Angela Leighton's genre-defying book -- poetry, memoir, experiment in translation in its many and often surprising senses -- explores with beautiful precision what she calls the 'two-ply tongue', a suggestive metaphor for the way we speak and think and write.'
Patrick McGuinness Praise for Angela Leighton 'Its lasting impression is a renewed awareness of poetry's manifold reach.'
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