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Book Title

Black Cat Bone

Author 1
John Burnside
Poem Excerpt
Before the songs I sang there were the songs
they came from, patent shreds
of Babel, and the secret
Nineveh of back rooms in the dark.
Hour after hour
the night trains blundered through
from towns so far away and innocent
that everything I knew seemed fictional:
—from “Death Room Blues”
John Burnside’s Black Cat Bone is full of poems of thwarted love and disappointment, raw desire, the stalking beast. One sequence tells of an obsessive lover coming to grief in echoes of the old murder ballads, and another longer poem describes a hunter losing himself in the woods while pursuing an unknown and possibly unknowable quarry. Black Cat Bone introduces American readers to one of the best poets writing across the Atlantic.

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5.25 x 7.75
Winner of both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize, Black Cat Bone is the first American publication of the poetry of John Burnside

About the Author

John  Burnside
Credit: Sue Jackson
John Burnside is a poet, fiction writer, and memoirist. His poetry has received the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Award, and the Petrarca Preis. He lives in Fife, Scotland. His most recent collection is Black Cat Bone.
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  • “Burnside imbues his verse with the enchanted landscapes of his Scottish origins. . . . A magical, lyrical imagining that expertly blends universal desire and distinct locale.”Booklist
  • “Ranks among the best of the decade.”Flavorwire
  • “The unique timbre created by Burnside’s ingenious prosody and obsessive imagination make for poetry of a very high order.”—The Rumpus
  • “Readers might just lose themselves in the language, as if under a predator’s ominous spell.”Publishers Weekly
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