Friday, February 07, 2014
Carnival Masks (Gallery Press, 2014)
The poems in this book are organised roughly in the sequence of the natural calendar, from the first signs of the new year in January, to a closing poem written in Nice in mid-winter. From January to August, the pieces are mostly set in Mayo; then, from autumn through to winter, the poems follow various moods and scenes from the time Jessica and I spent in Tuscany a few years ago.
Among the Italian pieces there's a series of short sketches called 'A Venetian Notebook', where I indulge myself with various comments and asides. There's something different in the register of these shorts, they're less self-conscious, less deliberate, perhaps, than the rest.
Timothy Engelland's cover painting, 'The Bathers' is perfect for the atmosphere of opulence and privilege you get on the Italian and French Riviera. Jessica and I have been drawn back there many times over the last ten years, and it's all been made easy by the generosity of our friend Martin Evans, whose house in Tuscany has felt like home on many occasions.