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...the power of memory and its repercussions are undercurrents throughout the very different sections of poetry. Though his familial recollections are sometimes painful, Szirtes writes each poem as a tribute to the past carved in the perspective of the present. His reel of images constantly rotates with flashing image, but he is able to maintain a sense of reality in these recollections. . .""--Verse Online.
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george szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948, and came to England with his family after the 1956 Hungarian uprising. He was educated in England, training as a painter, and has always written in English. In recent years he has worked as a translator of Hungarian literature, producing editions of such writers as Otto Orban and Zsuzsa Rakovszky, the latest being The Night of Akhenaton by Agnes Nemes Nagy from Bloodaxe in 2004. He also co-edited Bloodaxe's Hungarian anthology The Colonnade of Teeth. After four collections with Secker and five with OUP, he moved to Bloodaxe, publishing his Hungarian retrospective The Budapest File in 2000 and An English Apocalypse in 2001. He lives in Norfolk and teaches at Norwich School of Art and Design and the University of East Anglia.Review:
'A brilliantly virtuosic collection of deeply felt poems concerned with the personal impact of the dislocations and betrayals of history.' T S Eliot judges '[The T S Eliot judges were] impressed by the unusual degree of formal pressure exerted by Szirtes on his themes of memory and the impossibility of forgetting.' 'A major contribution to post-war literature...Using a painter-like collage of images to retrieve lost times, lives, cities and betrayed hopes, Szirtes weaves his personal and historical themes into work of profound psychological complexity' - anne stevenson, Poetry Review 'Szirtes is increasingly revealed as a major English poet - one of those in whom insight and technique combine to focus more and more productively as the years go by' - hugh macpherson, Poetry Review 'The calm clarity of his poetry is classical in the only worthwhile sense: that it gives lasting utterance to experiences which poetry must engage with if it is to speak in dead earnest to the betrayed world'- john lucas, New Statesman.
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