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Geography for the Lost

Geography for the Lost

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Kapka Kassabova is a young Bulgarian ÈmigrÈ poet who writes in English but with a European imagination. Her well-travelled poems speak from different parts of the world and different moments of history, but they always speak of the many ways to be lost and disoriented: in a place, in the past, in fear, in love, in the very quickness of life.

The voices speaking here ñ from a Roman housewife to a Chinese bar-owner in
Berlin or an Argentine DJ ñ are the voices of the heart-sick, the culturally jet-lagged, people from photographs, the 'tenants' of lives, cities and destinies. This is what we all are, have been, or will be.

On Someone else's life (2003):

"A book of striking originality in which the poet speaks for those who have been uprooted or dispossessed by, mostly European, history. Always evocative, Kassabova memorialises lives in transit."
Gerry Smyth, Irish Times

"Kassabova's achievement is to make the ÈmigrÈ life a metaphor inclusive of more general alienationÖ The evidence of a major talent is unmistakable."
Chris Miller, PN Review

"This much-travelled volume is always, even in several striking love poems, a record of alienation from the 'valley strewn with garbage and roses' of her homeland. This doubled sensibility is at once new and accomplished, direct and complex."
Fiona Sampson, Poetry Review

"Someone else's life tells with supreme clarity and fearless candor what it means to be adrift in the last years of the 20th century and the first of the 21st; it is a book of perpetual exile, of endless comings and goings, in a world that offers neither stability, nor salvation. Still, the very intelligence of this book ñ skeptical, riveting, passionate ñ suggests that there may be an answer to the uncertainty that is everywhere around us."
Mark Strand