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Sparrow Tree

Sparrow Tree

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Gwyneth Lewis’s highly inventive Sparrow Tree is a thematic gathering of new poems, mostly about nature and birdlife. A huge variety of the latter is on offer: blue tits, blackbirds, egrets, juncos, starlings, herons and hummingbirds, as well as the sparrows of the title. The book explores birds as mouthpieces for inhuman song and the wild inside the mind, its focus moving from birdsong as protolanguage to birds as decorative beings. The collection includes her already well-known ‘How to Knit a Poem’, commissioned by BBC Radio 4, and ends with images of the human word as a form of love.

"One of the most exhilaratingly gifted poets of her generation.”
M. Wynn Thomas, The Guardian

"Such exuberant invention… The range of reference is so wide, we are intoxicated by it."
Elaine Feinstein, The Independent

"True stars in poetry like Gwyneth Lewis always match brilliance with warmth. She is the one to bet on."
Les Murray

Gwyneth Lewis was Wales’s National Poet from 2005 to 2006, the first writer to be given the Welsh laureateship. Her first six books of poetry in Welsh and English were followed by Chaotic Angels (Bloodaxe, 2005) - which brings together the poems from her English collections, Parables & Faxes, Zero Gravity and Keeping Mum - and by A Hospital Odyssey (Bloodaxe, 2010). Her other books include The Meat Tree: new stories from the Mabinogion (Seren, 2010). Her Welsh collection, Y Llofrudd Iaith (Barddas, 2000) won the Welsh Arts Council Book of the Year Prize, and Keeping Mum was shortlisted for the same prize. She lives in Cardiff.