Poetry Book Society Recommendation
The houses and landscapes of childhood exert a strong presence in Silent in Finisterre. Recalled by name, in incantation, or described in ways that recapture their irreducible reality to a child for whom they are the totality of the world, they become a kind of memory theatre: for Jane Griffiths physical things are remembered both for their own sake and to explore how they continue to shape the self.
Style impresses as much as content in her resonantly evocative poems, with sentences played against line breaks to create constant small disruptions of the expected sense, while predictable phrases and forms of words are summoned only to be rewritten. Here language is not a transparent means of conveying a message but a medium that – no less than charcoal or oil paint – materially affects what is expressed through it. Form and subject are as inextricably entwined as ‘the echo of port in the night’s starboard, / the terra firma that is silent in Finisterre’.
Jane Griffiths' Another Country: New & Selected Poems was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2008, and followed by Terrestrial Variations in 2012. Silent in Finisterre shows her extending her explorations of people and place with delight at being in the world, despite the threat of loss.