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Shall We Go? | Bloodaxe Books

Annemarie Austin

Shall We Go?

Annemarie Austin

Publication Date : 21 Oct 2021

ISBN: 9781780375533

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World


Annemarie Austin's vividly imaginative poems explore other worlds and other lives, drawing upon her own memories and experiences, as well as on art, travel, dream, myth, history and literature.

The first poem in her new collection asks 'Shall we go on the shiny?', the last one ends 'being altogether gone this time'. In between there's the tightrope, 'The Walking Shot', the report on the pilgrimage in progress, the marquise going out at five o'clock. The eye moves left to right along with the poems' movement. Though there are stops from time to time, for problems of the unidentified, the location of waterholes, whether or not those birds are oystercatchers, for the interior of a pocket and Nijinsky jumping. Then on, maybe to the beach again.

Shall We Go? is Annemarie Austin's eighth book of poetry, following her Bloodaxe retrospective, Very: New & Selected Poems (2008) and later collection Track (2014).

‘…Austin is intensely local in the best sense. Not because it is tied to a specific landscape, but because whatever she considers passes through heart, intellect and nerves intimately, yet edgily in touch with their objects. Her voice is quiet, subtle but precise. It’s an unusual voice for the times and all the more valuable for that.’ – George Szirtes, Ars Notoria (Poetry Books of the Year 2021)

'Major themes of this collection are the insubstantiality of form, ways in which shape and substance morph, and the uncertainty of establishing identity... The eye for detail is meticulous... much for older students of poetry to explore.' - Frank Startup, The School Librarian, on Shall We Go?

'She is concerned with things that are hard or impossible to see, and objects and places that are either boundary-less, like an unframed picture, or whose boundaries, like the sea, change moment by moment.... Again and again Austin’s poems lead us towards the unknown. They drop hints but refuse to offer a solution to what we can’t quite see and can never fully understand. - Kathleen Bell, The High Window, on Shall We Go?

'Time and again, Austin's poems operate with a subtlety of thought and language... If allowed to put only one of these books on my shelves I would, I think, choose Austin's Shall we Go?, primarily because I think that it would probably retain its vitality through a greater number of re-readings.' - Glyn Pursglove, Acumen

'Lack of ostentation is part of the appeal of Austin's work. It voices mysteries with elegant composure. The mundane is met on its own terms, then all at once titled, a strangeness exposed. Sometimes the art is in the omission... Track is a book of many themes and explorations. Again, it reminds us of a poet whose technical control, musicality and gift for subtle surprise deserve wider notice.' – Carol Rumens, 'Poem of the the Week', The Guardian

'Austin's poems are full of intriguing images, with journeys and transitions as their main themes. Another concern in the capturing of fleeting details... But beneath the plain language and form, the uncanny and the terrible are never far away.' – Juanita Coulson, The Lady, on Track

'Austin is a fable maker. Hers is a poetry of parts held together by powerfully imagined dream associations. As her world deliquesces and reforms, her imagination breathes life into other people in other times, weirdly authenticating the material she draws from history' – Anne Stevenson.

'Annemarie Austin's world is one of doubles and reflections...she is deeply engaged with shifting perspectives and challenging perceptions.' – Jane Griffiths, Poetry Review

'She has the power to suggest the fantastic or the terrible... Annemarie Austin understands that the force of the uncanny lies in the echoing silence at the edge of the unknown.' – Helen Kidd, Poetry Quarterly Review

'Austin's voice has a shivery intelligence and precision.' – Deryn Rees-Jones, London Magazine

Annemarie Austin reads from Shall We Go? at the Bloodaxe online launch

Annemarie Austin read poems from Shall We Go? at this Bloodaxe online launch event shared with Claire Askew and Annemarie Austin whose three collections were all published in October 2021. Her poems were shown onscreen during Annemarie's audio only contribution to this event. At the end of readings Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley hosted a discussion between Claire and George about their new books and Annemarie's.


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BOOKS BY Annemarie Austin


Annemarie Austin


Publication Date : 30 Jan 2014

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Annemarie Austin


New & Selected Poems

Publication Date : 28 Feb 2008

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Poetry Events

Launch reading by Claire Askew, Annemarie Austin and George Szirtes

Launch reading by Claire Askew, Annemarie Austin and George Szirtes

Joint live-streamed launch reading by Claire Askew, Annemarie Austin and George Szirtes on 19 October 2021 is now on YouTube.

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