Jane Duran's new book of two striking sequences takes readers into other worlds—'gridlines,' in which the life and paintings of Agnes Martin are interwoven, and 'miniatures of al-Andalus' inspired by the illuminated Cantigas de Santa María and the art and artefacts of Islamic Iberia. The simple gridlines of Duran's couplets recall Martin's square canvasses, her precisely rendered grids and luminous stripes. Responding to individual images and to Martin's own biography, discovering lovely breaths of life entering the 'grey rectangles,' the poems' intricate interlockings and brilliant images seem almost to escape the poems' formal enclosures, so that Martin's 'The Peach 1964,' 'gave me back // only beige, graphite, / ink, sanity // and orchard after orchard.'
About the Author
Jane Duran was born in Cuba and raised in the USA and Chile. Selections of her poems have appeared in Poetry Introduction 8 (Faber 1993), Making for Planet Alice (Bloodaxe 1997), and Modern Women Poets (Bloodaxe 2005). In 1995 Enitharmon Press published her first full collection, Breathe Now, Breathe, which won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2005.
"Full of beauty and perception, these unusually supple responses seem to reach, in their open-endedness, for the infinite. Jane Duran shows a deep knowledge and engagement with the terrain in both complementary sequences. These are exquisite poems: 'Each one, clarified / true in miniature.'" —Moniza Alvi