19th Century Blues


19th Century Blues was a winner in The 2006 Book & Pamphlet Competition.

Patrick McGuinness was born in Tunisia in 1968, and now teaches French at Oxford University, where he is Reader in French and Comparative Literature and a Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. His first book of poems, The Canals of Mars, was published by Carcanet in 2004. His translation of Mallarmé’s For Anatole’s Tomb (2003) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

‘These beautifully wrought poems are meditations on time. Whatever the subject Patrick McGuinness captures that sense, as he so brilliantly puts it, that “Somewhere the Angel of Oblivion, radiant, leans his face into the wind/that turns our pages.”’ — Vicki Feaver

‘McGuinness translates from French … and perhaps that accounts for the different acoustic of his poetry: it’s quite unlike the work of any other British poet we know, haunting, delicate and exact in [its] observations.’ — Justin Quinn, Metre

‘This pamphlet was a winner in the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition, and it didn’t take me long to see why. 19th Century Blues is an absorbing meditation on time— beautifully written, subtle and complex without ever becoming obscure… These poems reach into the complexity of human love and loss and don’t flinch from saying what needs to be said, difficult as it may be.’ — Rob A Mackenzie, Happenstance