On the Saltmarsh
Published by Smokestack Books
The latest collection from Ruth Valentine looks unerringly at the true toll of conflict in the modern world, be it in Chile, Kosovo or Iraq. Like the shifting sands and swelling tides of the Saltmarsh itself, these are places where the bodies are too easily buried, lost on the map, out at the margins and away from public view and inquiry. These poems of war, migration and exile rise out of old photographs, bloody handprints and broken headstones – the redrawn borders of the victors, the unmarked graves of the defeated, and the suppressed memories of the survivors.
“This is well-organised writing, thick with a wit used so easily that the lines slip down like the butter that won’t melt in this poet’s mouth.”
Fiona Sampson on The Tide Table
Ruth Valentine’s previous books of poetry include The Identification of Species (1991), The Lover in Time of War (1995), The Tide Table (1998) and The Announced (2009). She has also published two books for schools on welfare issues, and a history of Horton Hospital in Epsom. Her prose piece ‘Stalking the Tiger’ features in Iain Sinclair’s London, City of Disappearances (2006). She works as a consultant for various charities, and lives in Tottenham, North London.