The last, paramount part of a loose trilogy of poetry with loneliness at home as its theme.
The sixth collection of poems by Milan Děžinský, Walking Around an Island, cements the leading position of this author from the younger generation of poets in the context of Czech poetry. In his collection of poems from 2011 to 2016, the author stays in his own exclusive domain: creating strong, mature poems, “shields against emptiness”, from inconspicuous, simple starting moments. The expressivity of these poems is not straightforward, which makes them more impressive. The central image of an island to be inhabited and turned into a home runs throughout the book.
“It is not only private nostalgias the text rests on, but at the end of the book a phosphorescent ray of the Syrian war flashes in the intimate world and we can also notice the reflective colour of refugees’ vests on lifeboats. […] Děžinský’s inconspicuous informality and words of subtle depiction will not absorb you upon the first reading; they will get under your skin only after repeated reading.”
—Petr Bílek, Literární noviny
“It is an existential testimony in casual attire; rather than expressivity we encounter a restrained testimony. Everyday reality, routine work, repetitiveness, as well as moments of laughter and occasional joy are all embraced in this collection of poems.”
About the author
Milan Děžinský (b. 1974), a poet and translator, graduated in English and Czech language teaching. He started writing literature in the mid-nineties. Three of his six books of poetry published so far were nominated for the Magnesia Litera Award for poetry. In 2014, he was nominated for the German-Czech Dresden Lyrics Prize and in 2016, he became the first laureate of the international Václav Burian Prize for poetry. Milan Děžinský translates poems from English and lives in Roudnice nad Labem, where he is also engaged in politics.
Read an excerpt
Walking Around an Island English
Umrunden der Insel German