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Books still make thoughtful presents that will last a lifetime and we’ve got some gems here that are sure to be appreciated. Scroll and click to read more about the book and writer…

Balkan Poetry Today 2017

Featuring the work of more than 30 poets from across SE Europe, Balkan Poetry Today 2017 offers insight into the rich and diverse poetries of a region that has only sporadically emerged onto the literary radar in the English-speaking world. Established writers sit alongside those from the latest generation to add their voices both to the region’s poetic traditions and world poetry in general. This volume also includes an excellent section devoted to contemporary poetry from Bulgaria, an introduction to contemporary poetry from Macedonia and an essay looking at other recent translations of poetry from SE Europe. Balkan Poetry Today is edited by Tom Phillips, a poet, playwright and translator from Bristol in the UK who has worked closely with writers and artists across SE Europe for much of the last decade and is a published poet in Bulgarian.

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The Reputation
new & recommended / 20th July 2017

Punched, kicked, spat at and publicly condemned, former golden boy of Iceland’s meteoric financial rise and author of its meltdown, Starkaður Levi, is facing a long prison sentence. In desperation he searches for a way out that leads him to The Firm and a way of saving his reputation…. In this brand new translation of Bjarni Bjarnason’s intelligent, ironic, comic and tragic novel he explores the motivations and weaknesses of the moneymen who brought so much misery to so many. And just how far they will go to save their reputations. Bjarni Bjarnason is a prolific prize-winning author with translations of his work in Arabic, Faeroese, German and English. And with The Reputation, (Mannorð) he established himself right at the forefront of modern Icelandic literature with its controversial portrait of a well-known Icelandic millionaire that has become a standard text for post-crash Icelandic studies.  

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The Teesdale Angler
sporting classics / 31st October 2016

The Teesdale Angler was first published in 1858 and intended by its author ‘as a help and guide to Trout fishers generally, especially those of Yorkshire, Durham, Westmoreland, and Cumberland.’ Lakeland’s perceptive advice and richly observed insights – his artificial fly patterns and methods for dressing them – have earned this little book a lasting place in the library of fly-fishing classics. from The Teesdale Angler: ADVICE TO BEGINNERS. Angling is such a popular recreation that professors of the gentle craft are to be found amongst all classes and conditions of the Genus homo. The disciples of glorious old Izaack – is not their name Legion? In early youth, fascinated with the capture of the tiny Minnow or glittering Gudgeon, the youthful Tyro is known in after years as the expert Salmon and Trout fisher. To become a really expert angler, requires a good deal of energy, perseverance, and activity, accompanied by a suitable amount of patience and ingenuity. In the fourth chapter of Waverly are the following observations, “that of all diversions which ingenuity ever devised for the relief of idleness, fishing is the worst qualified to amuse a man, who is at once indolent and impatient, such men’s…

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Contemporary Turkish Womens Poetry
red hand poetry / 31st October 2016

In recent decades Turkish women have risen to extraordinary prominence in a literary culture once dominated by men. Contemporary Turkish Women Poets is the first comprehensive survey of these startling, vibrant developments. In his landmark anthology, poet-translator George Messo gathers twenty-two of Turkey’s leading, award-winning poets, writing at the very height of their creative powers. Collectively, they represent more than half a century of innovation and change, embodying one of the most sustained and compelling re-visionings of contemporary poetry for many years. With an introduction by the translator-scholar Saliha Paker, Contemporary Turkish Women Poets offers a uniquely challenging and irresistible encounter with some of the most dynamic poets writing today. From Saliha Paker’s Introduction: In Sennur Sezer’s ‘documentary narrative’ Mihrî Hatun, a Turkish Sappho the author reconstructs the life and times of Mihrî (c.1460- 1506), an Ottoman woman who achieved unusual recognition as a poet in the late fifteenth century, but who was only brought to the modern reader’s attention within the last few decades. In The Age of Beloveds: Love and the Beloved in Early-Modern Ottoman and European Culture and Society (2005) Walter Andrews and Mehmet Kalpaklı too discuss Mihrî, focusing on ‘the problem that the woman poet presents…

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Secret Domain
red hand poetry / 18th July 2016

The Secret Domain sequence reads like an extended minimalist monologue, in which the poet induces rather than works the language, inscribing the physical limits of the page while summoning and invoking imaginative space beyond it. Turan speaks of, and out of, the profoundest silence – what Harold Bloom called the ‘dumbfounding abyss between ourselves and the object.’ The frequent dichotomy of being and non-being, signaling presence and absence, belays the intricate metaphysics, the flowing of becoming and disappearance, union and separation that give definition to Turan’s unique place in contemporary Turkish verse.

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The Boundaries of Return
red hand poetry / 18th July 2016

Scott Andrew Christensen’s debut collection the boundaries of return is a compelling exploration of passage in and through the natural world. Richly symbolic and formally experimental, Christensen’s poems create worlds at once uniquely perceptive and recognisable, in patterns of verbal play that are distinctive and memorable. ‘Scott Andrew Christensen’s poetry haunts the borders between the physically detailed and the metaphysically mysterious, or between Nature – in its beautiful particulars – and the Spirit, what is ineffable… Although the boundaries of return represents a debut, Christensen is already preternaturally skilled in edging toward Wisdom or Faith via witnessing everyday doings and the beings of persons, creatures, and things. Welcome – with joy – the boundaries of return.’ GEORGE ELLIOT CLARKE

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From the Pine Observatory
Uncategorised / 8th July 2016

First published in 2000, From the Pine Observatory introduces a poet of seductive range and power, carefully observing stillness, yet urging something to stir. Seldom far from the natural world, these are poems in which transformation and metamorphosis recur as central themes, and hint toward the mysterious, in a voice as authentic as it is startlingly fresh. This third edition of Messo’s rarely seen debut collection rescues the work of a fascinating but overlooked contemporary British poet.

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Angling Sketches
sporting classics / 8th July 2016

Angling Sketches was first published in 1891. It rapidly went out of print and into a second edition. Lang added a new chapter for an 1895 edition called ‘The Complete Bungler’, a comic micro-drama between two fly-fishermen, one from Scotland and one from England. In miniature the two protagonists enact the single most pressing debate to ripple through the fly-fishing community in the last decades of the nineteenth century, and through much of the twentieth: of ‘dry fly’ versus ‘wet fly’, of ‘upstream’ versus ‘downstream’. Lang belonged decidedly to the North and his little book of tales can be read as his defence of the northern, ‘north-country’ wet-fly tradition. But it is, of course, so much more. By his own testimony Andrew Lang was not a great fisherman. A reader approaching his Angling Sketches in the hope of finding snippets of fishing insight will be disappointed. Its inspiration lies elsewhere, for Lang was a consummate storyteller, and Angling Sketches is as much about spinning yarns as it is about spinning reels. Lang’s insatiable narrative drive enlivens these delightful tales of adventure. In essence fly-fishing has changed very little over the years. Angling Sketches, with its rich and intimate evocation of…

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The Book of the Grayling
sporting classics / 8th July 2016

It has always seemed to me that the Grayling is entitled to a better place in the estimation of anglers than the one usually accorded him….The trout is the angler’s fish of spring and early summer, when every soft breeze is laden with a perfumed invitation to see Nature at her best; the Grayling is a fish of the year’s old age: of that time when the morning silver of early winter mingles with the russet and amber of the woods, that want but the midday light of the Enchanter to blossom into gold…’ So begins this absolutely wonderful fly-fishing book that changed the world of angling forever. T. E. Pritt’s timeless classic The Book of the Grayling has inspired generations of fly-fishers. First published in 1888, it was long considered the definitive book on the subject of grayling. Pritt drew from a long and rich Northern English tradition of fly-fishing in the limestone rivers and streams of Yorkshire. Many of the methods and techniques he describes are still to be found in use today. This new edition of The Book of the Grayling makes Pritt’s eloquent prose available to fly-fishers and armchair adventurers the world over.

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Woodcraft
sporting classics / 8th July 2016

For generations of outdoor enthusiasts E.H. Kreps was a trusted authority on wilderness camping and survival. Woodcraft, as well as defining what we now call bushcraft, remains to this day an essential guide to living and travelling in the remote forests of Northern Europe and North America The first camp I remember making, or remodeling, was an old lumber camp, one side of which I partitioned off and floored. It was clean and neat appearing…but that was not really a wilderness camp, and while I realize that in many of the trapping districts where it is necessary to camp, there are often these deserted buildings to be found, those who trap or hunt in such places are not the ones who must solve the real problems of camp building. It is something altogether different when we get far into the deep, silent forest…. So begins E H Krepps’ classic account of Woodcraft which has led to a whole modern industry of the Ray Mears and Bear Grylls type outdoor adventure. What is interesting about Krepps’ writing is that he of course is writing before many of the modern comforts, materials and techniques had made any sort of appearance and for…

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Chats on Angling
sporting classics / 8th July 2016

H.V. Hart-Davis’s Chats on Angling offers timeless advice on the art of fly-fishing for Salmon, trout, sea-trout, and grayling. Whether dry-fly fishing for plump chalk stream trout of the Test and Itchen, or on one of England’s most exclusive fishing waters, the Driffield Beck in Yorkshire, or salmon fishing the big waters of Scotland and Ireland, Chats on Angling remains the classic, indispensable guide. As Mr Hart-Davis begins his book, many fishermen will agree…..‘To those who love angling, with all its associations and surroundings, no apology may be needed for inflicting on them in book form certain short articles which have mainly appeared in the columns of the Field. They are ‘Chats’ rather than didactic deliverances, and are offered in the belief that much will be forgiven to a brother angler, since all that pertains to the beloved pastime has some interest, and the experiences of the poorest writer that ever recorded his views and fancies may haply strike some responsive note.

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Letters & Sounds
red hand poetry / 7th July 2016

Letters & Sounds is a multi-voiced selection of some of İlhan Berk’s finest love poems, elegies and lyric prose. Brought into English by poet-translator George Messo, these poems dance and sing with the energy and experimental daring of their dazzling Turkish originals. ‘Poets of our time in any language ignore Berk’s poem—its treasure trove—at their own peril.’ MURAT NEMET-NEJAT ‘One of Turkish poetry’s most distinctive and necessary voices.’ WORLD LITERATURE TODAY

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