Singapore Notebook & Blessed Isle by George Szirtes
Singapore Notebook & Blessed Isle by George Szirtes

Singapore Notebook & Blessed Isle

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by George Szirtes 


“We teeter between celebration and hubris, between the trump card of capitalism and the burning of the gifts for the dead. We are waiting for Godzilla to arise out of the sea and take back what is hers.”

Towards the end of 2014, the British poet George Szirtes spent a month in Singapore.

Here are his impressions of the city-state and its people, in the form of both journal entries and poetry.

Other titles in the series:

The Cuckoo Conundrum by Grace Chia
Saint by Jean Tay
Belfast by Timothy O’Grady                 
Right of the Soil by Yong Shu Hoong

About the Author

George Szirtes was born in Hungary and emigrated to England with his parents—survivors of concentration and labor camps—after the 1956 Budapest uprising. Szirtes studied painting at Harrow School of Art and Leeds College of Art and Design.His first book, The Slant Door (1979), won the Faber Memorial Prize. Bridge Passages(1991) was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize. Reel (2004) won the T.S. Eliot Prize, and his New and Collected Poems was published by Bloodaxe in 2008.

Szirtes did not return to Hungary until 1984, when he visited on the first of several Arts Council traveling scholarships. He has since translated, edited, and anthologized numerous collections of Hungarian poetry. For his translation work Szirtes has won several awards, including the Dery Prize for Imre Madach’s The Tragedy of Man(1989) and the European Poetry Translation Prize for Zsuzsa Rakovsky’s New Life(1994). His own work has been translated into numerous languages and widely anthologized, including in Penguin’s British Poetry Since 1945.


"Szirtes [...] seems able to find fertile images for making sense of the simultaneously unprecedented and banal phenomenon that is Singapore."

—Angus Whitehead, Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language & Literature

• • •

ISBN: 978-981-09-6093-3
Published: 2016
Dimension: 110mm x 180mm 
Extent: 98
Finish: Paperback