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The Pallikari of Nesmine Rifat by David Solway


For his celebrated poetry collection Saracen Island, David Solway took on the voice of a Greek poet named Andreas Karavis. So artful were these poems that many readers believed they were authentic translations from Greek by Karavis. The Pallikari of Nesmine Rifat continues Solway’s inspired poetic ruse. In this new book of ostensible translations, he adopts the persona of Karavis’s spurned lover, Turkish Cypriot poet Nesmine Rifat. Lushly sexual and sparkling with wit and intelligence, these extraordinary poems take the form of a series of undelivered letters, penned in the wake of Karavis’s desertion and eventual marriage to Anna Zoumi. With great subtlety and sensitivity, Solway portrays a powerful woman and gifted poet undergoing a violent emotional journey — from anger and disdain to melancholy and undying passion.

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Goose Lane Editions

Fredericton, NB