The poems in "Jilted City" inhabit in-between-places, when a border is being crossed, a word is slipping into another language, when memory is translating loss. From 'Stations where the train doesn't stop' in 'Blue Guide', following a train journey through Belgium, to 'City of Lost Walks', English versions of a dissident Romanian poet whose 'poetry fails to register except in the form of an omission', McGuinness explores transition and translation, the afterlife of absences. Wit and paradox are at the heart of a collection that finds unforeseen connections between place and displacement.
Patrick McGuinness was born in 1968 in Tunisia. In 1998 he won an Eric Gregory Award for poetry from the Society of Authors and his work has appeared in the Independent, PN Review, Poetry Wales, Leviathan and other journals and magazines, as well as the anthology New Poetries II, edited by Michael Schmidt (Carcanet). His first collection, The Canals of Mars, appeared in 2004. Also for Carcanet, McGuinness has translated For Anatole's Tomb by Stephane Mallarme from the French and edited the prose and poems of the Welsh modernist poet Lynette Roberts. He is a fellow of St Anne's College, University of Oxford, where he lectures in French. He lives in Cardiff. His academic books include Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre (Oxford UP, 2000), Symbolism, Decadence and the fin de siecle (University of Exeter Press, 2000), and he has edited the Penguin Classics edition of Against Nature by J-K Huysmans and T.E. Hulme's Selected Writings for Carcanet. His French Anthologie de la Poesie symboliste et decadente is published by Les Belles Lettres (Paris, 2001).