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The Tempest Prognosticator,

Isobel Dixon

The Tempest Prognosticator, Isobel Dixon
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BOOKSELLER INFORMATION


Publication Date: 15-Jul-11 | ISBN: 9781844718252 | Trim Size: 198 x 129 mm | Extent: 80pp | Format: Paperback

UK Distribution: Bertrams Books Gardners Books  | USA Distribution: Ingram  | Publishing Status: ActiveShop online at HiveFind your local bookshop

 

SYNOPSIS


Synopsis

In The Tempest Prognosticator leeches warn of storms, whales blunder up the Thames, beetles tap out their courtship rituals, and women fall for deft cocktail makers and melancholy apes. With her keen eye and a gift for vividly capturing the natural world, Isobel Dixon entices the reader on a journey where the familiar is not always as it seems at first, where the sideways glance, the double take, yields rich rewards.

From Cape Town to Nagasaki, the Congo to the Karoo, creatures real and surreal flit, and peck and spin fantastic webs across the page. In this finely-spun collection real-life explorers Robert Byron and Mary Kingsley have encounters both dangerous and humorous, we venture inside Alfred Hitchcock’s ominous Psycho house, and find Robinson Crusoe shipwrecked on the moon. Desire and loss are refracted through the writings of naturalist-poet Eugene Marais and Shakespeare, through the art of Damien Hirst, Louise Bourgeois and Henri Rousseau, through Pink Floyd’s music and Fred Astaire’s footwork, and with each page of this ‘ingenious carousel’ a poet’s vision of a world of art and nature emerges — stormy, celebratory, revelatory. This is a collection filled with ‘miracle and wonder’, wit and bite, a generous feast of words.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Contents; Vision; Into the Wild; The Parliament of Gulls; Mountain War Time; Postcard from the Colonies; Upupa Epops; The Inopportune Baboon; Toktokkie; Startling Point; Root Verses; The Deserted Patisserie; You, Me and the Orang-utan; A Beautifully Constructed Cocktail; A Mess of Vinegar; So Many Henries; The Whiteness of the Whale; The Merry Jesters; The Only Brunette on the Beach; Requiem; Mall Shoal; Only Adapt; Capricorn; Robinson in Space; Astronomy Sonnetry; O Dreamland; Peacocks in the Boar Garden; Struzzi; The Poor Wild Boar Who Went Too Far; Paradox; Silking the Spider; First Faints; Love is a Shadow; Contract; Housewifery; Familiar; Agama Atra; valentine; Moth Storm; Good Company; Days of Miracle and Wonder; Usury; Vase; Trappings; King Kong Déjà vu; Beetle, Fish & Fetish; Every Valley Shall Be Exalted; The Tempest Prognosticator; Notes; Acknowledgements

PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK


“In this virtuoso collection, the work of a poet confident in her mastery of her medium, Isobel Dixon moves easily from dialogues with the animal world to mordant ventriloquizings of the female self.” —J M Coetzee

 

“Isobel Dixon’s poetry possesses exquisite vigour, panache and a resourceful, ranging intelligence. Like the title poem, The Tempest Prognosticator is an ‘ingenious carousel’ of a book. Life-affirming, funny, almost liquid in the movement of language, yet the book shifts with such apparent ease into darkness. Isobel Dixon’s work has natural authority; the reader trusts her to get the details right.” —David Morley

 

“Frogs, birds, bats, baboons, monkeys, peacocks, lizards and boars leap, crawl, shimmer and swoop through Isobel Dixon's lusciously feral and finely crafted poems. The Tempest Prognosticator signals so many fresh, often surreal, insights; with its bold, eclectic approach to the traditional and the experimental, and irreverent juxtapositions of subject matter and form, it's a wake-up call to the imagination and the senses and suggests myriad possibilities of what a poem can do and be.” —Catherine Smith

 

“Frogs, birds, bats, baboons, monkeys, peacocks, lizards and boars leap, crawl, shimmer and swoop through Isobel Dixon's lusciously feral and finely crafted poems; while moths ‘crash the party,’ the ostriches of Struzzi are ‘Shabby ballerinas/all gone at the knees’ and a whale shows up in the Thames ‘one wintry Friday, come to visit us.’ And the human zoo is no less intriguing. The Tempest Prognosticator signals so many fresh, often surreal, insights; with its bold, eclectic approach to the traditional and the experimental, and irreverent juxtapositions of subject matter and form, it's a wake-up call to the imagination and the senses and suggests myriad possibilities of what a poem can do and be.” —Catherine Smith

 

“Isobel Dixon shows great accessible range with this refreshing and exhilarating collection. Nature, real and unreal, is evoked as the poet perfectly captures a world where not all is as it seems and where nature and art intersect with a wonderfully pleasing outcome. We find Robinson Crusoe shipwrecked on the moon, whilst Hirst, Marais and Rousseau are invoked to aid the collection’s overarching themes of loss and despair. A brilliantly surreal collection, THE TEMPEST PROGNOSTICATOR will appeal to readers for its invention, wide-ranging allusions and playful (and sometimes painful) explorations of the modern self through a rich tapestry of nature and culture.” —Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Autumn 2011

 

PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS


“Isobel Dixon was born with the gift of lyricism as natural speech. A measure of her accomplishment is that all the sense impressions of Africa, even if the reader has never actually been there, live naturally in her poetry as if it were the only landscape.” —Clive James

 

“Isobel Dixon’s poetry moves from observation or memory to metaphor in a silky glide…. with a beautifully controlled surrealism that shapes and narrates internal states.” —Shaun de Waal Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

 

“Most striking is Dixon’s penchant for short powerful bursts of insight or reflection. She knows when enough is enough and the word choice of her free verse often commands some powerful imagery. ….This is a modern poet in fine command of her art.” —Dan Szczesny The Hippo (USA)

 

“A contemporary, accessible lyricism… characterised by sensuous natural imagery.” —James Tink PN Review

 

“Isobel Dixon’s work is characterised as much by her strong lyrical voice as by her central preoccupations of settlement, exploration and selfhood…. Dixon confidently moves from sharply pitched observations in shorter verse to elegantly expressive longer pieces. …There are strong hints in her work that she has much more to say and there is no one better placed, or rather, displaced, to say it.” —Alex Pryce Contemporary Writers

 

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE


Isobel DixonIsobel Dixon has been described by Clive James as being ‘born with the gift of lyricism as natural speech’ and by J M Coetzee as ‘a poet confident in her mastery of her medium.’ Her poems have appeared in publications like The Paris Review, The Guardian, Penguin’s Poems for Love and The Forward Book of Poetry. Salt published A Fold in the Map in 2007. www.isobeldixon.com


 
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A Fold in the Map, Isobel Dixon

A Fold in the Map,

Isobel Dixon

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A Fold in the Map charts two very different voyages: a tracing of the dislocations of leaving one’s native country, and a searching exploration of grief at a father’s final painful journey. These poems of accessible contemporary lyricism will speak memorably to travellers, lovers, and all those who mourn.
 
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