Scattering Eva

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Cape Poetry, 2005 - Historical poetry, English - 61 pages
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In this remarkably assured, elegant first collection, James Sheard takes on the subject of the individual in European history, suspecting that the End of History has been announced a little early. The environment inhabited by his poetry is pervaded by ideologies and upheavals, both old and new; the speakers of his poems brag, explain, confess, resign, but are always human in their concerns. What emerges is a series of poems like skeletal mechanisms, set ticking at those moments when his characters connect, however briefly or tangentially, with the forces that surround them. Sheard aims for epic scale in small spaces. Where the shorter poems seem to touch and withdraw, the long title poem 'Scattering Eva' sets out to explore. The story of the narrator returning the ashes of a survivor of the Hamburg firestorm raids to that city is told in a filmic and fragmentary narrative in which Sheard probes the fractures of gender, generation, nationality and complicity. Densely worked and startlingly original, the poems in SCATTERING EVA announce the arrival of a new poet of maturity and great power.

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Contents

At Konstanz I
1
The Buoy Yards
14
Writing History
27
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

James Sheard was born in Cyprus in 1962, and spent his childhood abroad, mainly in Singapore and Germany. As an adult, he spent periods living in Hamburg and Helsinki. His work has appeared in various magazines and has been translated into German and Danish for publication and broadcast. He lives in Sheffield, where he recently completed the MA Writing at Sheffield Hallam, where he was awarded the 2003 Ictus Prize for poetry. The resulting pamphlet, Hotel Mastbosch, went on to be the Poetry Book Society's Pamphlet Choice for Winter 2003. He is currently working towards a practice-based PhD on translated poetry at Sheffield Hallam.

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