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The Night Tree

Jane Draycott

Cover Picture of The Night Tree
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Imprint: OxfordPoets
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. May 2004)
9781903039724
£11.99 £10.79
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Poetry Book Society Recommendation

    This collection travels many paths and by-ways, beside some of which lie burning cars, or a young man speechless on a forest floor, or girls lost far from home. And there is a lighthouse... Travellers pass along these ways, in the darkness, in transit, hoping for safe passage through unknown territory. All are imagined with what Sean O'Brien describes as Draycott's 'quizzical, exultant, exact music'.

    The Night Tree is Jane Draycott's second book of poems, following Prince Rupert's Drop, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation short listed for the Forward Prize in 1999, and two smaller collections, Tideway (Two Rivers Press, 2002, illustrated by Peter Hay) and No Theatre (Smith/Doorstop) short listed for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 1997.
    Jane Draycott’s previous collections from Carcanet Press include The Occupant (Poetry Book Society Recommendation), Over (T S Eliot Prize shortlist), Prince Rupert’s Drop (Forward Prize shortlist) and her 2011 prize-winning translation of the the medieval dream-elegy Pearl. Other collections, from Two Rives Press, include Storms Under the Skin: Selected Poems ... read more
    Awards won by Jane Draycott Winner, 2023 A Cholomondeley Award
     'I've waited some time to read something this intelligent, this sensuous and this crystalline. In fact The Night Tree is the finest collection I've read for ages.'
    Guardian
    Praise for Jane Draycott 'These are approachable poems, expressed in lucid language, and studded with clear images. They are finely wrought, knitting form and sound patterns beautifully, but holding these formal properties lightly... The Kingdom is moving, intriguing. It's a place I know I will keep returning too, to lose an hour our two.'
    Emma Simon, The Friday Poem
    'Draycott is rightly regarded as a poet of sensitivity and lyrical control. But these are not airy poems. Their mysteries are well served by the muscularity of her descriptions. Even the briefest poems here offer richly textured, shimmering language.'
    Maya Popa, TLS
    'These poems, especially when read in order in the collection as a whole, are deeply unsettling; yet there is love in them, and hope. There is also great tenderness and an awareness of a beauty that can still be valued in the fragility of the moment and the world.'
    Kathleen Bell, The High Window
     'I should make clear from the outset that it's a collection I like very much... This is a collection that speaks to the reader's doubts, uncertainties, fears, death-thoughts; there is no single reading and that, for me, makes it stronger... It anticipates the future, as art should.'
    London Grip
    'A host of subtle and spellbinding effects, testament to Dryacott's skill as a poet as well as her grasp of grief's physcological realities'
    Theophilus Kewk, The North


     'Draycott uses the language of dreams to make the quotidian illusionary, like a vapour captured in lexicon. Sleeplessness haunts the collection... Homeliness is pushed, just, over to Freud's unhomely conclusions. The dream world, enticing and enlightening as he might have it to be, proves no more accommodating than our own.'
    Lucy Cheseldine, STAND
    'Her searching curiosity and wonderful assurance make her an impeccable and central poetic intelligence.'
    Penelope Shuttle, Manhattan Review
    'When Jane Draycott read, for the first time, sections of her exquisitely modulated translation of the 'Pearl' poem, its echoing character seemed to transport me from one cultural space to another... I came as close to hearing the 'Pearl' poet's voice as I am ever likely to be.' - Stella Halkyard, PN Review 'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
     'The language is marvellously modulated yet stirringly wild. Draycott has carried over into our tamer, tired world a strong, strange sense of how original, gorgeous and natural this old poem can be.'

     David Morley, Poetry Review


    'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
    'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
    'When Jane Draycott read, for the first time, sections of her exquisitely modulated translation of the 'Pearl' poem, its echoing character seemed to transport me from one cultural space to another... I came as close to hearing the 'Pearl' poet's voice as I am ever likely to be.' - Stella Halkyard, PN Review 'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
    'The language is marvellously modulated yet stirringly wild. Draycott has carried over into our tamer, tired world a strong, strange sense of how original, gorgeous and natural this old poem can be.' - David Morley, Poetry Review
    'When Jane Draycott read, for the first time, sections of her exquisitely modulated translation of the 'Pearl' poem, its echoing character seemed to transport me from one cultural space to another... I came as close to hearing the 'Pearl' poet's voice as I am ever likely to be.' - Stella Halkyard, PN Review 'Draycott's version is compellingly human.'
    Lachlan Mackinnon, Times Literary Supplement
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