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Essential Poets 264
Extraordinary Renditions
1st edition
By (author): Niki Lambros
9781771833868 Paperback, Trade English POETRY / Canadian Sep 01, 2019
$20.00 CAD
Active 4.8 x 7.9 x 0.4 in 65 pages Guernica Editions
The voices in this collection come from the deep past when war began, and span the centuries to the present moment, with war still raging around the globe. We hear the ancient story of how violent killers became heroes and then saints, how the picture of torture became an icon to be venerated, salvation achieved through the instruments of pain and death. As the poet Joseph Brodsky said, ‘Poetry is ? the only form of moral insurance that a society has.’

Realizing the city had reached its apotheosis after the Mets won the World Series in 1986, Niki Lambros left Manhattan for Athens, Greece, eventually becoming a Greek Orthodox nun. In 2000 she left the order and after 9/11 returned briefly to NY before immigrating to Canada. She relinquished US citizenship in 2014, and lives in Montreal.

The scope of Lambros? vision is great, the confidence of her lines (sometimes redolent with Heaney?s poise, others relishing a sonic associativeness akin to spoken word) unshaken by her timeless subject. Here is war?s face as the ancient Greeks looked upon it and as they wore it; here is its contemporary incarnation on a screen. These poems know that war is raw; they strip it, and us, down to essentials, and burn with a cool heat. —Stephanie Bolster. There are some places so dark that even the best journalism cannot render them fully, only poetry can take you there. But how to speak the unspeakable? In this courageous collection Niki Lambros takes up that task and gives us an unflinching rendition of the agonies inflicted, the prices paid, the souls unmade, in our dirty wars. Drawing on her knowledge of both classical and theological writing, of myths and martyrologies, she brings their ancient language and insight to bear on what we are doing now, and opens out the heart of our present darkness. These are indeed extraordinary renditions. — Revd Dr Malcolm Guite. "I have met the enemy, he is not fictional. / He is the ugliness staring back from the mirror." These poems are searing, flensing in their truth seeking; they are as unsettling as Kafka?s In the Penal Colony, as rife with cosmic irony as Cavafy?s Waiting for the Barbarians. —Mary di Michele.

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