PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
OUP PNR 246 Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Alex Wong embarks on Ausonius's Moselle Christine Blackwell recalls Jonas Mekas Lives of Graves, Trilling and Curnow visited New poems by Lisa Kelly and Jodie Hollander Andy Croft on the 'poetry industry'

This review is taken from PN Review 215, Volume 40 Number 3, January - February 2014.

Shifting the Centre nikolai duffy, Relative Strangeness: Reading Rosmarie Waldrop (Shearsman Books) £12.95

It is rare to read a book which is as thoroughly researched and yet as engagingly written as this. I gulped down its 183 pages, footnotes and all, in just two sittings. This is an academic book, and yet it is also the story of a voyage of discovery on the part of its author Nikolai Duffy. I suspect that it has been a book several years in the making. As well as serving as a much-needed introduction to the poetry, prose and translations of Rosmarie Waldop, it is an illuminating exploration of some of the fundamental questions thrown up by poetry and its relationship to the world we live in. These are questions that anyone who is interested in poetry of the last hundred years or so is bound to ask, for example the relationship of poetry to politics after Auschwitz. What role, for example, does the avant-garde have here? Duffy does not offer any clear-cut answers. His book is just as much a delving into the unknown 'space of between' as Waldrop's poetry is. Without putting Waldrop's oeuvre into any kind of box, he investigates the historical, biographical and cultural influences that have shaped not only Waldrop's writing, but also her work as founding editor of Burning Deck Press (with husband Keith Waldrop).

We are introduced to her poetry as if it were an unnamed land that Duffy feels compelled to explore but that he has no intention of colonising. Duffy will seek in different ways to map this land, but it ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image