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This report is taken from PN Review 224, Volume 41 Number 6, July - August 2015.

Anne Cluysenaar Adam Czerniawski
It was Revd James Coutts, our mutual friend, who introduced me to Anne Cluysenaar. She was an enthusiastic supporter of the Usk Valley Vaughan Association, whose annual meetings in Brecon we both attended. I invited her to a private meeting in Monmouth on 7 December 2010 to hear poems from Moved by the Spirit, my new anthology of Polish religious poems (Lapwing Publications, 2010). It has an introduction by Rowan Williams.

On 5 March 2014 Anne wrote to me: ‘Touching Distances should get to you before the weekend. I have you to thank for the way that reading unlocked the series and I’m still both puzzled and delighted.’ In time I received her collection Touching Distances, Diary Poems (Cinnamon Press, 2014), penned ‘For Adam, to whose reading I owe this collection. It all started from Dec 7, 2010!’

I replied on the 10th: ‘I feel very honoured that I have inspired such a rich and varied collection. Good to see there the names of my late good friends Donald Davie and Max Sebald, and my heroes Borges and Vaughan. Quickly sampling the texts, I see that Borges and Orpheus have also had a good influence on you. I note that the book was printed in Poland. Do you retain an affinity with Belgium? I’m currently watching the exciting thriller series Salamander. Shows Belgium riven by corruption, scandal, murder and suicide reaching right up to the top of society and government. In comparison, Belgian Congo seems idyllic. Is Brussels really that bad?’

And she responded on the 11th: ...


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