Tolstoy in Love

By Ray Givans


“Daring and risk taking” first full-length collection of poems by Tyrone-born Ray Givans.

SKU: 9781906614089

Tolstoy in Love is the first full-length collection of poems by Tyrone-born Ray Givans. Daring and risk-taking, the first section begins in the voice of Anna Akhmatova, with what John Wakeman (founder and co-editor of THE SHOp), calls “a triumphant, lyrical celebration of her son’s release after years in Stalin’s prisons”. Notions of voice, and influence, are further explored in poems that are both inner portraits of and meditations on a gallery of writers, including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Emily Dickinson, John Berryman and Simone Weil… “The second section… is largely autobiographical—reminiscences of a Protestant boyhood in Northern Ireland, evocations of a divided Belfast… The poems here are humane, sometimes touching, sometimes ironic, sometimes playful. Here are two books for the price of one, both worth having.”

“These extraordinary poem-portraits—studious, emotionally commanding and engaging—are a true poetic achievement. Verity, felicity, scrupulous beauty—Tolstoy in Love is a work of great human value.” — Ian Sansom. BBC Writer in Residence, Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry

“Readers should not let the title mislead them: this collection is about much more than Tolstoy… The book chronicles the reality of pain and sorrow in the world and how moments of grace can sometimes provide escape from suffering.”— Wendy Marie Vergoz, Anglican Theological Review, 94:2

ISBN 978 1 906614 08 9 Paperback
82 pp, 140 x 216 mm
May, 2009

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