Dannie Abse's: New Selected Poems
The year 2009 marked the 60th anniversary of the publication of Dannie Abse’s first poetry collection, After Every Green Thing, and since that time he has published an astonishing range of books, including poetry, fiction, criticism and autobiography. He remains a writer of great distinction who is at the height of his powers – his memoir, The Presence, won the Wales Book of the Year in 2008. But it is as a poet that Dannie Abse is best known, and to mark this extraordinary milestone he has compiled a new and definitive volume of selected poems which includes new work combining both passion and maturity.
" His poetry has lost nothing of its unnerving power...A magician of ordinary speech...... His unique achievement has been to fashion a genuinely lyric art out of a relaxed, colloquial, deceptively desultory style of writing. It remains a potentially devastating combination... As he adventures ever further into his 80s, Dannie Abse is a continuing wonder"
M. Wynn Thomas, The Guardian
See and hear Dannie Abse reading on the Poetry Channel
Dannie Abse's The Presence
Some months after Dannie Abse's wife Joan died in a car accident in June 2005, he began to write a diary which is both a record of present grief and a portrait of a marriage which lasted more than fifty years. This book is a memoir from one of Britain's most distinguished poets. It deals with loss, grief and love.
It is an extraordinary document, painful but celebratory; funny as well as sad, bursting with joy as well as sorrow and full of a deep understanding of what it means to be human.
The Presence is the winner of the 2008 Wales Book of the Year.
Watch Dannie Abse talking about and reading from The Presence in a short film from the BBC Wales Book of the Year website here.
“A supremely fresh and vital performance, matching profound emotion with witty observation… This is a truly marvellous book.”
Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
“A remarkable and candid document… a celebration of all things that he values in life-art, music, poetry, friendship, humour and, above all, the love he found with his wife.”
Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
“The Presence is a fragment of autobiography written from the most private part of a poet’s heart, with a pen dipped in blood and tears."
Carol Ann Duffy, The Daily Telegraph
“For all its painful honesty, the presence is a surprisingly joyful and compelling book… imbued with all the best qualities of what it means to be human.”
Owen Sheers, Independent on Sunday
Available from publishers Random House. Or see links to Amazon in right column.