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Jilted City

Patrick McGuinness

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Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (76 pages)
(Pub. Mar 2010)
£9.95 £8.96
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(Pub. Mar 2010)
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  • Not quite a stop but neither are we merely passing through –
    a kind of sticky pause like fighting a magnetic field
    and wanting it to win. A few kilometres across the border,

    the change in language comes like a switch in current,
    a switch in currency.

                                                     from 'Kleinbettingen'
    The poems in Jilted City inhabit in-between-places, when a border is being crossed, a word is slipping into another language, when memory is translating loss. From ‘Stations where the train doesn’t stop’ in ‘Blue Guide’, following a train journey through Belgium, to‘City of Lost Walks’, English versions of a dissident Romanian poet whose ‘poetry fails to register except in the form of an omission’, McGuinness explores transition and translation, the afterlife of absences. Wit and paradox are at the heart of a collection that finds unforeseen connections between place and displacement.

    Running through Jilted City is an acrid tenderness that is entirely itself, its jokes dry, aching with loss. – George Szirtes

    Cover image: Alun Hemming, Urban Vulture. Reproduced by kind permission of the artist. Cover design

    The Age of the Empty Chair
    Noon at the DoubleTree Hotel
    The Shape of Nothing Happening
    Le Grand Pardon
    The Companions
    Nineteenth-Century Blues
    Black Box

    II Blue Guide
    I Gare du Nord
    II Gare centrale
    III Gare du Midi
    IV Quartier-Léopold
    V Schuman
    VI Bruxelles-Luxembourg
    VII Ottignies
    VIII Gembloux
    IX Namur
    X Ciney
    XI Marloie
    XII Jemelle
    XIII Libramont
    XIV Bouillon
    XV Marbehan
    XVI Arlon
    XVII Luxembourg
    Stations where the train doesn’t stop

    My Mother
    L’Air du Temps
    The Other Side
    Daytime Drinking
    Spleen: Cardiff Matchday Blues
    The Thaw
    I Illegible waves of wood
    II Lapland
    III ! ! !
    IV Stills
    V writing the words
    VI LO! v e
    i.m. Jacques Brel (1929-1978)
    Article 0.5: The Right to Be In-Between
    Poem in White Ink
    The Empty Frame
    House Clearance
    The Clamour

    IV City of Lost Walks: Poems by Liviu Campanu
    from The Ovid Complex (1989)
    Poems I–VIII
    Scenarios for Lovers and Magnets
    from City of Lost Walks (1985)
    In the Natural History Museum
    In the Museum of Archaeology


    Patrick McGuinness was born in 1968 in Tunisia. In 1998 he won an Eric Gregory Award for poetry from the Society of Authors and his work has appeared in the Independent, PN Review, Poetry Wales, Leviathan and other journals and magazines, as well as the anthology New Poetries ... read more
    Awards won by Patrick McGuinness Long-listed, 2011 Wales Book of the Year, English Language Category in The Western Mail (Jilted City)
    'Patrick McGuinness has constructed a rough guide to a lonely planet, full of unquenchable cultural curiosity and irresistible ironies... Alive to every undulation of the linguistic landscapes in which he moves, McGuinness’s poems often pivot on the cross-cultural possibilities of a single isolated word.'
    New Welsh Review
    Praise for Patrick McGuinness 'When T.E. Hulme was killed in Flanders in 1917, he was known to a few people as a brilliant talker, a brilliant amateur of metaphysics, and the author of two or three of the most beautiful poems in the English language... he appears as the forerunner of a new attitude of mind...'
    T.S. Eliot, The Criterion, 1924
    'There is a huge amount to savor, learn from and enjoy here. Anyone with pretensions to know British writing of the 1940s should read it.'
    Paul St John Mackintosh, TeleRead
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