The souls inhabit us `as if our faces were portraits in galleries - and stare out of us until they are tired of looking,' writes Moniza Alvi in one of these delightfully paradoxical and daringly imaginative poems... `We only know about life. To the souls, we're the real immortals.' The troubled and troublesome souls are characters in her sequence The Further Adventures of the Souls whose escapades touch different facets of life and death, exploring tantalising dualities through delicious transformations. Their moods and desires dart about on the edge of daily reality, revealing as much about ourselves as our own fantasies. The other poems in Souls, while different in approach, are equally strong evocations of the fragility of life, exploring birth, death and parenthood with a sure wit and lightness of touch.
'Alvi is a bold surrealist, whose poems open the world up in new, imaginatively absurd ways' - Ruth Padel, Independent. 'Much of Alvi's work engages with a surreal or fantastical world of fractured and partially recovered identity, working through sequences in her most recent poetry' - Deryn Rees-Jones, Modern Women Poets. 'Moniza Alvi's world is a place of wild energy...Alvi's voice has achieved a relaxed naturalness, a fluidity which allows her to present these delicious, extraordinary poems as though it were easy' - Kathleen Jamie & Hugo Williams, PBS Bulletin. 'She is a skilled storyteller, recounting the extraordinary in the voice of the everyday, so that we accept the miraculous as something we need...the overriding impression is of a deft, restrained language carrying ideas with metaphysical wit and seriousness' - Leonie Rushforth, London Magazine.
About Moniza Alvi
Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. After working for many years as a secondary school teacher in London, she is now a freelance writer and tutor, and lives in Wymondham, Norfolk. All her poetry is published by Bloodaxe. Her most recent titles are Blackbird, Bye Bye (2018); her book-length poem, At the Time of Partition (2013); Homesick for the Earth, her versions of the French poet Jules Supervielle (2011); Europa (2008); and Split World: Poems 1990-2005 (2008), which includes poems from her five previous collections, The Country at My Shoulder (1993), A Bowl of Warm Air (1996), Carrying My Wife (2000), Souls (2002) and How the Stone Found Its Voice (2005). The Country at My Shoulder was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Whitbread poetry prizes, and Carrying My Wife was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Europa and At the Time of Partition were selected as Poetry Book Society Choices in 2008 and 2013 respectively and both were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Moniza Alvi received a Cholmondeley Award in 2002. A collection of her poems was published in Italy by Donzelli Editore in their Poesia series in 2014, Un mondo diviso, translated by Paola Splendore.
Souls by Moniza Alvi
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