Poetry Book Society Choice
Many of the poems in Moniza Alvi's Europa relate to ancient and modern traumas, including enforced exile, alienation, rape and 'honour killing'. Its centre-piece is a re-imagining of the story of the rape of Europa by Jupiter as a bull. Her latest collection also includes a series of poems exploring post-traumatic stress disorder, and further versions of the French poet Jules Supervielle with their Second World War background. Europa is a dark, unified book whose poems move towards regeneration, published at the same time as Moniza Alvi's Split World: Poems 1990-2005.
"Alvi is a bold surrealist, whose poems open the world up in new, imaginatively absurd ways."
Ruth Padel, Independent
"Much of Alvi's work engages with a surreal or fantastical world of fractured and partially recovered identity, working through sequences in her most recent poetry."
Deryn Rees-Jones, Modern Women Poets
"Moniza Alvi's world is a place of wild energy... Alvi's voice has achieved a relaxed naturalness, a fluidity which allows her to present these delicious, extraordinary poems as though it were easy."
Kathleen Jamie & Hugo Williams, Poetry Book Society Bulletin
"She is a skilled storyteller, recounting the extraordinary in the voice of the everyday, so that we accept the miraculous as something we need... the overriding impression is of a deft, restrained language carrying ideas with metaphysical wit and seriousness."
Leonie Rushforth, The London Magazine
"One of the few British poets whose work could currently be described as essential reading, not least as we try to grasp what fractures of cultural difference might have contributed to the 7 July bombings."
Tim Robertson, Magma