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The Adulterer's Tongue
Edited by Robert Minhinnick
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (124 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2003)
In the food chain, language is the harrier.
How it craves young breath.
Yn y gadwyn fwyd
iaith ydyw'r boda ac mae'n rhaid cael cnawd
ac anadlu ifanc os yw'r heliwr am fyw.
from Gwyneth Lewis, 'Ewyllys yr Iaith' / 'The Language's Will and Testament'
The Adulterer's Tongue casts a brilliant light on the world of Welsh-language poetry. Poetry has been written in Welsh for over fifteen hundred years: an ancient literature, it is also a vibrant part of the culture of modern Europe, often overlooked by English speakers. Robert Minhinnick's translations bring six outstanding contemporary Welsh language poets into the spotlight, providing the Welsh texts en face. Minhinnick, himself a leading poet, is conscious of the responsibilities of translating out of a minority language. His versions take risks, but honour the originals' forms and intentions, making audible a wide array of individual styles and voices. The poets here each in different ways remake the language and culture they inherit. This collection testifies to the abiding creative energy of the Welsh language and culture. The poets are: Bobi Jones, Menna Elfyn, Emyr Lewis, Iwan Llwyd, Gwyneth Lewis and Elin ap Hywel.
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
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
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