With the People from the Bridge (Poena Damni vol. 2)

With the People from the Bridge (Poena Damni vol. 2)

By Dimitris Lyacos

Revised 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-910323-91-5

Price: £9.00

Acclaimed by critics worldwide, With the People from the Bridge is a unique distillation of literary genres, an all-in-one densely layered poem, play, postmodern epic, a small-scale wide-scope apocalyptic tragedy. An immersive experience where voices issue from characters in a state of trance, drift crackling out of a TV set or a cassette player and the contours of reality begin to darkle and shift while trains still pass up overhead, audience members get up to leave, performers creep out through back-exits. This is the day and the place for the imminent return of the dead and the reader sees them approaching as he peeks through the gaps of Lyacos’s elliptical storytelling. Radical in its recasting of content and narrative form this is one of those rare books that unravel visions of wholeness and collective redemption within the darkest aspects of our folk and religious tradition.

“Lyacos writes one of the most memorable traditionally experimental poetic works I’ve read. It avoids the visual wankery of bill bissett, the gentle chopping of line typical in Jorie Graham, and the terse verse of Rae Armantrout, while retaining the weightiness of surreal abstraction… A guttural experience which is rarely experienced and which is what Poena Damni wants to be from the beginning.”- Cleaver Magazine

“Billed, as avant-garde, postmodern and genre-defying, the book is potentially intimidating but actually quite easy to slip into. Epic in feel, but a breeze to consume in one sitting; abstract and mysterious without being obscure – there’s much to engage with and be provoked by (…)Pace-wise, the book is rhythmic and relentless: it marches along and the reader is swept along with it (…) so that a cumulative sense of unease is instilled in the reader, an unease that is compounded (as in stamped on) by the book’s macabre epilogue-like sign-off.” – Versal 

“Dimitris Lyacos’s long, tripartite poem, Poena Damni, is one of the most important and challenging literary works to come from Greece in the past generation. (…) Symbolic polyvalence takes the place of metaphor, and Lyacos is able, because of the temporal simultaneity he creates, to suggest a complex and reverberant matrix for which what seems the plainest of speech will serve. At the same time, however, broken utterance and fragmentary syntax undercuts this apparent simplicity, leaving the reader suspended over a void. It is also belied by the wealth of cultural reference embedded in it by silent quotation and allusion. This is no parade of learning for the critical cognoscenti, however. As in Beckett, the pressure of an entire civilizational epoch lies behind the most seemingly casual and transparent rhetorical gestures.” – The Critical Flame