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The Adulterer's Tongue
Edited by Robert Minhinnick
ISBN: 978 1 857546 44 6
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 2003
215 x 135 x 11 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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 )
Praise for Robert Minhinnick 'Robert Minhinnick's Diary of the Last Man casts a ferocious eye on the natural worldâs vulnerabilities - and our own - in the dysfunctional relationship we have created with that world. His is an apocalyptic vision which moves from isolated contemplation of the fragile beauties of place, most usually South Wales, through atrocity in Iraq, to a community of translations from the Turkish, Arabic and Welsh, achieving a bleakly affirming global regard.'
W.N Herbert (Chair of the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize Judging Panel)
'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 is the leading Welsh poet of his generation'
'There is something imposing in the way he makes his chosen locale, the strand of Porthcawl, feel like the edge of the world, on which wash up echoes of world politics and broad sweeps of history.'
Philip Gross, Poetry London
'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'Minhinnick is one of the few poets who writes about a dockyard or a hedgerow with equal authority...A friend of mine once said that he liked to think of R.S.Thomas as "just being there": outside the media hubbub, steadily producing wonderful poems. Although Minhinnick's considerably younger, and more cosmopolitan in scope, I'd say the same about him.'
'Minhinnick is a poet of the moment...his best work takes you and places you slap bang in the middle of an experience. Like a mini tardis.'
The Big Issue
'Biodiversity is at the heart of what he writes about, backed up by a knowledge of archaeology and geology. He is now entering his mature phase and is already one of our most accomplished poets.'
The Western Mail
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