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The Owner of the Sea

Three Inuit Stories Retold

Richard Price

Cover of The Owner of the Sea by Richard Price
10% off Paperback
Categories: 21st Century, British, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (188 pages)
(Pub. Jun 2021)
9781800171176
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(Pub. Jun 2021)
9781800171183
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(Pub. Jun 2021)
9781800171190
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • In re-telling the Inuit stories included here, Richard Price opens out remarkable northern vistas and unfamiliar narratives, strange gods and unforgettable characters. Carol Rumens described Price as a poet who is 'brilliant quietly: inventive, sometimes dazzling, but never merely showy': precisely the talents for rendering, rather than appropriating these great story-cycles of Inuit culture.

    Here we learn of 'Sedna the Sea Goddess' and 'Kiviuq the Hunter', the central protagonists of the book's remarkable stories. They are rich in extraordinary incident. In Sedna's world women can marry dogs and have half-puppy, half-human children; birds beat their wings so hard they call down a storm on a fugitive kayak; walruses originate from... well that would be telling. Each story-cycle abounds in natural wonder, celebrating our creaturely relations with our fellow inhabitants of land and sea. 'The Old Woman Who Changed Herself into a Man', a short narrative, bridges the major sequences, telling the story of an older woman and a younger one who become lovers in the isolation of their remote home.
    Richard Price writes about families and children, about disability, about love, and about consumerism. His work is thoughtful, at times playful, and always lyrical. Carol Rumens has described him as a virtuoso who is “brilliant quietly: inventive, sometimes dazzling, but never merely showy.” He has published over a dozen books of ... read more
    Awards won by Richard Price Short-listed, 2017 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award (Moon for Sale) Winner, 2013 Creative Scotland SMIT Poetry Book of the Year
    (Small World)
    Short-listed, 2010 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of the Year Award
    (Rays)
    Short-listed, 2008 Scottish Arts Council Poetry Book of the Year Award
    (Greenfields)
    Short-listed, 2005 Jerwood/Aldeburgh First Collection Prize
    (Lucky Day)
    Short-listed, 2005 Whitbread Poetry Book of the Year
    (Lucky Day)
    Short-listed, 2005 Forward Felix Dennis First Collection Prize
    (Lucky Day)
    Runner-up, 1997 Paul Hamlyn Poetry Award, for pamphlet Hand Held Winner, 1988 Winner, STV Creative Writing Prize, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde Winner, 1988 Keith Wright Memorial Prize for Poetry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Winner, 1987 Keith Wright Memorial Prize for Poetry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
    'True myths are contradictory, ambiguous, always shape-shifting as much as the characters. Price captures this with precision... Price's poetry has always had a lapidary quality balanced with a lilting, almost nursery rhyme rhythm. It works exceptionally well in this collection.'

    Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman

    Praise for Richard Price  'He is a poet with a huge range of styles, for whom no subject matter is outlawed... He clusters similar poems so they sing to each other - a group of nature poems, a medley of songs - and the opening, penultimate and final poems are gracious, gentle and pleasing. We're never in any doubt that we're in the company of an unusual intelligence, but he is clever in a generous way.'
    Mandy Haggith, Gutter Magazine
     'Poets have to be linguistic virtuosi, but I prefer them to be brilliant quietly. Richard Price'€™s poetry is inventive, sometimes dazzling, but never merely showy. I first came to Price's poetry with the publication of Lucky Day (2005) and every subsequent book has delivered fresh weather. Moon for Sale appeared in January 2017, and I'm still rereading it and finding new pleasures.'
    Carol Rumens, Best Poetry Books of 2017, The Guardian
     'A wryly playful poet...'
    The TLS
    'There are also beautiful, intimate love poems which served to remind me that even in sad and dangerous times, human sweetness can prevail. There are also many moments of delicious humour.'
    Josephine Corcoran, The North, Issue 58 (Summer 2017)

    'Reading the poems you become aware you are in the presence of a mind working much more quickly and sharply than your own.'
    The Poetry School 
    'Richard Price retains an individual voice in which intense feelings of love, or dislocation, are packed into often short, complex lyrics. There is a tension in reading his poems which is created by his care for words, by the integrity of his distillation.'
    Carol Ann Duffy
    'Price's humane intelligence manifests itself in deceptively simple and subtly musical forms of address. Readers who allow themselves the pleasure will not be disappointed.'
    Robert Potts, The Guardian
    '...when you come to such energy combined with impressive inventiveness and lyricism, it is rather hard to pass on by [...] the humour, the wittiness [are] there throughout, as is a boldness of utterance [...] Here, however sorrowful the story, I hope other readers too will feel the energy of language in the making.'
    Caroline Clark, Eyewear
    'A superb first line, 'No colours can mean more than Lego's' ('Delicate greenery'), leads on to an amazing arc of narrative and imagery and richness. There's playground slang and prejudice. And suddenly a pared-down, lyric directness…'
    Tony Williams, Magma
    'Richard Price retains an individual voice in which intense feelings of love, or dislocation, are packed into often short, complex lyrics. There is a tension in reading his poems which is created by his care for words, by the integrity of his distillation.'
    Carol Ann Duffy
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