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Budapest to Babel

Authors: Ágnes Lehóczky

ISBN: 9780954392062

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Winner of the inaugural Jane Martin Prize for Poetry.

...and I watch the oxidised stations go by slowly dozing to the sound of the fine talk in a cradle of soft sentences...through the window I spot two storks over the lake, two forgotten orthographic signs I could not read anymore written in the reeds wings open...and I notice another one and two or three more; the entire country covered with copper-beaked white storks.

The well-known Babel myth provides the backbone for the first cycle of poems and a departure point for further journeys in this, Lehoczky’s first book in English. Budapest to Babel is a rewarding and focussed exploration of the difficulties and joys of encountering and engaging fully with a new language. States of confusion and chaos, playfulness and joy are all explored throughout this lively and rewarding debut.

Agnes Lehoczky was born in 1976 in Budapest. Station X (2000) and Medalion (2002), her first two short collections, were published in Budapest by Universitas. Her work has been published in a number of places in print and online in Hungary and the UK.

"It is rare to find such articulate poems about inarticulacy; poems that comprehend inarticulacy in their composition and which are, for my money, very moving … an original writer with something original to say."George Szirtes

"Agnes Lehoczky draws on the poetic tradition of making language the subject of the image but complicates this intriguingly by being in two places at once; she makes herself both actor and acted upon in enjoyable strategies of investment and displacement."Lavinia Greenlaw
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