A Formula for Night:
New and Selected Poems
Published by Seren Books, October 2015
Tamar Yoseloff is a poet whose career has been profoundly influenced by the visual arts. A Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems is the eagerly awaited summation of her work, encompassing selections from four published print volumes: Sweetheart, Barnard’s Star, Fetch and The City with Horns (now mostly out of print); and poems from her collaborations with artists: Formerly, Marks and Desire Paths. The book also includes a generous selection of beautiful new poems. The title poem is based upon an installation by Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans. An image from his work, a light sculpture, is used for the cover of the book.
The new poems are often artful explorations of paradox: death/birth, dark/light, clarity/mystery. In the ‘Swimmer of Lethe’ the protagonist says: ‘I’ve mastered surface/ here everything is under.’ Atmospheres are conjured, surfaces interrogated and humans are often found woefully or wonderfully implicated in their settings in unexpected ways. A misunderstood creature, the ‘Muntjac’, is seen with tender clarity ‘Now white with May/tar and fern on his delicate hooves…’. The poet’s vocabulary is spikey, sometimes ferociously so. Sex is another paradox, its violence at times palpable: from ‘Pictures of Spring’: ‘I bend and break, bend/ and break, contort my limbs/ into these lovelocked shapes.’ ‘Hospital Time’: ‘collapses, folds the days into sterile gauze,/a thousand different words for hurt’ beautifully evokes the estranging, atmosphere of a hospital but slowly evolves to become a moving elegy to the poet’s mother.
[From the publisher’s website]
by Tamar Yoseloff & Vici MacDonald
Published by Hercules Editions, October 2015
Featuring poems by Tamar Yoseloff and photographs by Vici MacDonald, Formerly commemorates the forgotten corners of a London fast disappearing. The book is a sequence of 14 informal sonnets, each written in response to an accompanying image. It is now in its second edition, printed in full colour, with every copy signed by the authors. Each book comes with a free 10-page location guide, Off The Map. Formerly was the subject of an exhibition at the Saison Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London, in 2013, and was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award.
Tamar’s individual collections, selections from which appear in A Formula for Night: