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. Track is her first new collection since her Bloodaxe retrospective Very: New & Selected Poems (2008).
There are journeys here. The track may be a railway or a path, and perhaps there's one main route – to the boiler house. There are figures seen on their way and those standing still – the living statue, the woman in camera and the one who's reached the last resort. And creatures too, mourning the death of Pan or trapped in the pound.
And behind all these the unreliability of perception, the tension between what can be seen and what cannot, the pressure of space upon the drawn lines, the breakdown of speech in the face of 'the plain gap'.
'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 jounreys 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