In Desert

In Desert

By Judith Wilkinson

Price: £10.00

ISBN: 978-1-912524-89-1

Number of pages: 78

Poetry, English, Paperback, 135x210mm

The poems in this collection enact the experiences of people who have spent time in the desert, independent characters like the long-distance runner Mauro Prosperi, who survived being lost in the Sahara, or the South African artist Helen Martins. In a series of psychological portraits, Wilkinson explores various solitary journeys, when an individual is thrown back on his or her own resources. She homes in on what happens in the void, on the subtle emotional shifts that a stay in the desert brings with it. Wilkinson spent some years immersing herself in desert literature, researching the journeys of adventurers, artists, recluses, refugees, as well as the lives of people whose desert encounter was a figurative one, the result of illness or incarceration. Wilkinson also draws on her own experience of the desert. The encounter with this stark and magical landscape is never a static event, and those who have trekked through it inevitably emerge changed.

‘Judith Wilkinson was familiar to me only through her translations of the Dutch poet Toon Tellegen. This sequence confirms the status of her own work. It joins the ranks of books about surviving and it is her attentiveness to language that makes it memorable.’ – D.A. Prince, review of Canyon Journey in London Grip