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Watching the Fire Eater

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854110756

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Former Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year

From Copacabana to urban Yorkshire, from New Mexico to a Welsh funfair, from The Netherlands to the Clare coast, Robert Minhinnick's world is a shrinking one.

Its cast of characters includes Rio beach beggars, Madison Avenue literati, saloon-bar poolsters and millionaire scrap merchants. These essays cover a variety of subjects: third world poverty and the internationalism of alcohol, rugby through the eyes of a vegetarian, nuclear power, sunbathing and a thanksgiving dinner for the demise of Margaret Thatcher.

But at the core of this collection is a vivid series of attempts to strip away the exhausted mythologies of the writer's own country and the increasingly-packaged places he visits. Whether in the rainforest or the big match crowd, Minhinnick's language, acid, imagist, compassionate, celebrates the people he meets and, fleetingly, defines their lives.

Robert Minhinnick is the prize-winning author of two volumes of essays and seven volumes of poetry. He has also edited a book on the environment in Wales, written for television and provided columns for The Western Mail and Planet. He is the co-founder of the environmental organisation, Sustainable Wales, and is currently the editor of Poetry Wales.
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