Café By Wren’s St James-In-The Fields, Lunchtime by Anna Blasiak, photography by Lisa Kalloo (Holland House Books)

Tears in the Fence

This extraordinary and substantial 136 page bilingual publication in English and Polish is a collaborative work between Polish poet, Anna Blasiak, her accomplished translators, Marta Dzivrosz, Maria Jastrzębska, Danusia Stok and Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese, and photographer, Lisa Kalloo. Each translator took a set of 12 or 13 poems to translate into English. The results are uniformly exquisite, pared and pointed. The book is a joy to read and a feast for the eyes thanks to Lisa Kalloo’s photography which enhance the reading and visual experience of the work.

The poems move through the isolation of the migrant condition searching for roots whilst dealing with home and family memories to the near silence of a new condition.

Amnesia, Obstinately

Every evening I learn a day
by heart.

Mornings I forget everything again.

Blasiak’s poems, pithy fragments, are almost epigrammatic and allusive in their dealings with emigration, otherness and hidden moods. Typically, a…

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