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book cover of Burnfort, Las Vegas

Burnfort, Las Vegas

A collection of poems by

"She is at once emotional and shrewd: hidden behind the rich lace-curtain of her personal charm, her existentialism sings." - Thomas McCarthy

"Martina Evans's poems are a miracle, for the way they combine total clarity with profundity: the way the apparently innocent and observant humour of their narrative surface covers a compassion and understanding that are often heartbreaking and heartbroken." - Bernard O'Donoghue

Following her prose poem-cum-novella Petrol (2013), Martina Evans returns to her childhood and adolescence in County Cork, Ireland, with poems and prose poems which begin with the impact of American culture and particularly rock 'n' roll on the small town where she grew up.

We move the Sacred Heart lamp
closer to Elvis's face now in the month
of June. I think that those
billboards of Vegas
could be the Major cigarette sign
or the Double Diamond Works Wonders
in the lounge window round '75
or the BP pump shining
in the blue Burnfort evening . . .

We encounter ghosts, travelers, shoes, old movies, alcoholics, and even Bart Simpson in Evans's poems as we move from her school and college days, with their eccentric cast of teachers, to contemporary London and the sights, sounds, and characters of Balls Pond Road, where she lives with her daughter and three cats. The book ends with a series of poems about youthful reading - from clandestine reading in class to the joy and escape of childhood reading - "the miracle / of the black marks straightening themselves / out into sense across the page."


Used availability for Martina Evans's Burnfort, Las Vegas

Paperback Editions

October 2014 : UK Paperback

Title: Burnfort, Las Vegas
Author(s): Martina Evans
ISBN: 0-85646-457-0 / 978-0-85646-457-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Anvil Press Poetry
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA