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Anna Selby

The Burning

The Burning


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‘The lyric poem works both to slow down our world, teasing out the many disparate elements of our experience, and to reorient it, by exposing an entire universe of instincts, paradoxes, and mysteries beneath all that we know, or think we know. In these poems by Anna Selby, human beings are always gravitating from earth and air towards water. It is as if the transcendence they seek (the desire to “leap/hot out of your own life”) requires a physical departure from the very medium they inhabit. Selby’s ringing titles evoke not just a subject but a sensibility, and her versatile forms and deftly run-on lines very persuasively re-enact the thrill of sense experience and the shape of thought.’ Chandrahas Choudhury

Praise for this Book

‘Anna Selby’s 'The Burning' pulses with ingenious energy. ‘Your language/ got more picasz’ – By turns laconic and lively, her poems are generous with possibility: ‘Will we […]love again the strangeness of our shape – / our shadow flooding the ceiling?’ —Alison Brackenbury

‘Anna Selby has a view of things which is all her own. Without affectation, carefully and precisely, never forcing it, she realizes, and makes the reader party to, that vision. The poems are poignant, funny, passionate and more besides; and in all their tones they ring true. You read them with little shocks of surprise and recognition. Thinking of them afterwards is like a pleasurable haunting.’ —David Constantine

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