Great Games

Great Games

By Alistair Elliot

Price: £10.00

ISBN: 978-1-912524-02-0

96 pages, paperback, 135x210mm

Alistair Elliot (born 1932) was one of those British children sent to the US during WWII. At university he was in the poetic generation of Adrian Mitchell, Anthony Thwaite, George MacBeth, Geoffrey Hill, Alan Brownjohn, Jonathan Price, and Donald Hall, among others. After a number of jobs (‘night-sterilizer’ was a favourite) he ended up as a librarian, in Kensington, Keele, Shiraz (1965–67) and Newcastle, where he took early retirement in 1982. He has translated books of Heine, Verlaine, Valéry, plays of Euripides, notably Medea, anthologies of French and Italian and Latin poems, and this is the tenth book of his own poems. His reconstruction of Euripides’ Phaethon is looking for a producer.

“Elliot is naturally playful, and never afraid to toss an icon overboard, as happens to John Cage in “The Old Man Comes Out with an Opinion”. But there are depths of lyrical seriousness too, invariably tied up with language itself, as in “Seals (Iona)”, which describes the creatures’ response to hearing Greek, or “Welcome to the Air” for a new-born in intensive care.” – John Greening reviewing Telling the Stones in the Times Literary Supplement