James Sutherland Smith's poems draw on his experiences of life in the Middle East and Middle Europe; what is most strange, they tell us, is to be found not in the exoticism of remote locales, but close to home. His language ventures into foreign and domestic places, into nature, politics, and the self-discoveries and self-deceptions of sexuality. A poem may begin as a purposeful quest but find its meaning in falling by the wayside. It may set out in full possession of its wits and end the journey distracted and unsure. All the poems are marked by a fascination with appropriate language and are alive to the textures of the world.
JAMES SUTHERLAND SMITH was born in Aberdeen in 1948 He is currently working as the Manager for the Peacekeeping English Project in Serbia and Montenegro based in Belgrade. He has published three previous full collections, the last of which, At the Skin Resort, appeared in 1999. Together with his wife Viera, he is the major translator of Slovak poetry into English. Individual book selections of his translations from Jan Buzassy, Mila Haugova, Ivan Laueik, Jozef Leikert and Milan Rufus have appeared in Canada, Britain and the USA. Book selections of his own work have been published in Slovak and Romanian.