Notions of voice, and influence, are further explored in poems that are both inner portraits of and meditations on a gallery of writers, including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Emily Dickinson, John Berryman and Simone Weil… The second section... is largely autobiographical—reminiscences of a Protestant boyhood in Northern Ireland, evocations of a divided Belfast… The poems here are humane, sometimes touching, sometimes ironic, sometimes playful. Here are two books for the price of one, both worth having."
"These extraordinary poem-portraits - studious, emotionally commanding and engaging - are a true poetic achievement. Verity, felicity, scrupulous beauty - Tolstoy in Love is a work of great human value."
Ian Sansom, BBC Writer in Residence, Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry
Ray Givans,/b> was born and reared in the village of Castlecaulfield, Co. Tyrone. He has published four pamphlet-length poetry collections, including two from Lapwing Publications; the most recent being Going Home (2004). He was also involved in a poetry/artwork collaboration, Earth Works,/i>, with artist Tony Martin, which was published by Subway, Bristol in 2003. He has been awarded prizes for his poetry in Britain, the U.S. and Australia and was the first recipient of the Jack Clemo Memorial prize for poetry. He has been guest editor of Christianity and the Arts, the Chicago based journal. His work was included in Artwords (2000), an anthology of emerging or newly emerged artists and poets from Ulster.