Fresh Out of the Sky


Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
Bloodaxe Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.4 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948, and came to England with his family after the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. He was educated in England, training as a painter, and has always written in English. In recent years he has worked as a translator of Hungarian literature, producing editions of such writers as Ottó Orbán, Zsuzsa Rakovszky and Ágnes Nemes Nagy. He co-edited Bloodaxe's Hungarian anthology The Colonnade of Teeth. His Bloodaxe poetry books include: The Budapest File (2000); An English Apocalypse (2001); Reel (2004), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; New & Collected Poems (2008) and The Burning of the Books and other poems (2009), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009. Bad Machine (2013) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2013. Mapping the Delta (2016) was the Poetry Book Society Choice for Winter 2016. A new collection, Fresh Out of the Sky, was published by Bloodaxe in 2021. Bloodaxe has also published his Newcastle/Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures, Fortinbras at the Fishhouses: Responsibility, the Iron Curtain and the sense of history as knowledge (2010), and John Sears' critical study, Reading George Szirtes (2008). His memoir of his mother, The Photographer at Sixteen, was published by MacLehose Press in 2019. Szirtes lives in Norfolk and is a freelance writer, having retired from teaching at the University of East Anglia.


A brilliantly virtuosic collection of deeply felt poems concerned with the personal impact of the dislocations and betrayals of history. The judges were impressed by the unusual degree of formal pressure exerted by Szirtes on his themes of memory and the impossibility of forgetting.--Douglas Dunn
'The latest collection by the T S Eliot Prize-winning poet contains poems relating to country, identity, memory, belonging, war and upheaval, many of which relate to his arrival in England as young child after his family fled the 1956 Hungarian uprising.'--Caroline Sanderson "The Bookseller"
'Without question, George Szirtes is the most distinguished poet now living in England. Hungary's loss was England's gain in 1956 and those elements of Budapest Jewish life that Szirtes has reclaimed imaginatively only serve to enrich and expand England's poetic consciousness.... Dealing with the most dreadful, dark materials, painfully honest about exile and isolation, Fresh Out of the Sky is, unexpectedly, a joyous and life-affirming work.'--Thomas McCarthy "Dublin Review of Books"
'His latest volume of poems is a tour de force of what he has termed "the music of what happens", a supremely well-modulated examination of both his own life and the world at large as seen through the eyes of someone, in Bob Dylan's words, "always on the outside of whatever side there was".'--Nick Cooke "London Grip"
'His newest collection of poems, Fresh Out of the Sky, was published by Bloodaxe Books in October 2021. It is a six-part meditation on country, identity, Judaism, belonging and political upheaval. In a world that seems to be growing ever more divided by borders-both physical and ideological--Szirtes brings beauty and humanity to the experience of migration. He reminds us why translation and art are essential in understanding one another and imagining worlds beyond our own.'--Rose Bialer "Asymptote"
'With each collection, the past is redrawn through a mastery of form that we come to expect from this poet, (Szirtes is surely our contemporary master of both the terza-rima and sonnet crown).'--Andrew McDonnell "Ink, Sweat & Tears"