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Highgreen Arts

George Szirtes

New & Collected Poems

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New & Collected Poems

George Szirtes

Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize

George Szirtes came to Britain as an eight-year-old refugee after the Hungarian uprising in 1956. Educated in England, he trained as a painter, and has always written in English. This comprehensive retrospective of his work covers poetry from over a dozen collections written over four decades, with a substantial gathering of new poems. It was published on his 60th birthday in 2008 at the same time as the first critical study of his work, Reading George Szirtes by John Sears.

Haunted by his family’s knowledge and experience of war, occupation and the Holocaust, as well as by loss, danger and exile, all of Szirtes’ poetry covers universal themes: love, desire and illusion; loyalty and betrayal; history, art and memory; humanity and truth. Throughout his work there is a conflict between two states of mind, the possibility of happiness and apprehension of disaster. These are played out especially in his celebrated long poems and extended sequences, The Photographer in Winter, Metro, The Courtyards, An English Apocalypse and Reel, all included here.

‘A brilliantly virtuosic collection of deeply felt poems concerned with the personal impact of the dislocations and betrayals of history. The judges were impressed by the unusual degree of formal pressure exerted by Szirtes on his themes of memory and the impossibility of forgetting.’ – Douglas Dunn, on Reel, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize.

‘A major contribution to post-war literature…Using a painter-like collage of images to retrieve lost times, lives, cities and betrayed hopes, Szirtes weaves his personal and historical themes into work of profound psychological complexity’ – Anne Stevenson, Poetry Review.


‘Szirtes is increasingly revealed as a major English poet – one of those in whom insight and technique combine to focus more and more productively as the years go by’ – Hugh Macpherson, Poetry Review

George Szirtes: 'Metro'

George Szirtes reads two extracts from his long poem-sequence 'Metro' from his New & Collected Poems. This film is from the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce, edited by Neil Astley, which includes several poems read by George Szirtes from his New & Collected Poems. For more details of In Person go to:

£15.00  paperback 
1 85224 813 0.  448pp. 2008. 

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Other books by George Szirtes:
An English Apocalypse
Bad Machine
Bad Machine (ebook)
Collected Poems
Fortinbras at the Fishhouses
New & Collected Poems (ebook)
The Blood of the Walsungs
The Budapest File
The Burning of the Books (ebook)
The Burning of the Books and other poems
The Colonnade of Teeth