Our Man storms Sofia…

   Further to Tom’s adventures amongst the poetic heartlands, hedonists and difficult breakfasts in Montenegro and Croatia follow him as he heads over to Bulgaria to immerse himself in Sofia’s o’er-brimming literary life… Sunday 31 July There’s a long string of coincidences behind my standing in our hallway with a rucsac full of poetry books, magazines and an English-Bulgarian-English dictionary and with a boarding card for the late-night flight from Bristol to Sofia. The short version is that, in 2013, I read part of my one-man show I Went to Albania at the University of Portsmouth. Afterwards a student came down to the front and asked me if I’d ever been to Bulgaria. Less than six months later I was in Sofia as a guest of Vasilena’s family and talking with her artist sister, Marina, about an online project which would surface in January 2014 as Colourful Star – quite possibly the only Anglo-Bulgarian poetry/visual art project on the internet. Since then I’ve taught myself Bulgarian (at least to read and write – my conversational Bulgarian still suffers from my appalling accent), begun translating Bulgarian poetry and plays and – thanks to an ever-expanding circle of Bulgarian friends – somehow…

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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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