Featured review from MPT

The Scattered Papers of Penelope: New and Selected Poems, edited by Karen Van Dyck

The Scattered Papers of Penelope: New and Selected Poems, edited by Karen Van Dyck

By Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke

Anvil Press Poetry, 128pp, paperback, £ 9.95, ISBN: 978-0-85646-401-0
Series 3 No.12 - Freed Speech

Review by Paschalis Nikolaou

Godchild of none other than Nikos Kazantzakis, already an established poet in her early twenties and producing fourteen collections over the course of four decades, which saw her win most major poetry prizes in Greece, Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke has also been fortunate when it comes to translation. As Karen Van Dyck explains at one point in her engaging...

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By Byron Leodaris

Translated by Thom Nairn & D. Zervanou

Dionysia Press, 2009, £9.50, 978-1-903171-33-2

Twenty untitled poems divided between "Outside", a group of twelve and "Beyond", the remaining eight. Leodaris's narrator, "an old poet persecuted for his verses", who perceives himself as "branded", undertakes a relentlessly anguished, self-lacerating examination of the roots of his alienation, his sense of the futility of life and of the world. Unsurprisingly, given his view that "poems happen" and that "the words I utter cut my tongue", he desires "to be done with the trickery of writing and reading". "If only", he exclaims at one point, "I could confront my extreme limits / and be totally crushed here". Quite.

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