FIONA SAMPSON was born in London in 1968. A former concert violinist with a doctorate in philosophy, she has published more than twenty books of poetry, translation and criticism. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, of which she serves on the Council. For seven years the editor ofPoetry Review, she is the editor of Poem: International Literary Review.

 

 

“I’m suspended. Below me
is a dark pool.
When I plunge a hand in,
water breaks on my palm —
a splash
of black mercury.”

 

All of us, floating and stalking, 
are flat-footed insects, water-boatmen
dimpling the dark.

 

 

“Fiona Sampson burst onto the literary landscape as the brilliant young editor of Poetry Review. . . . Her subject is darkness of many kinds, erotic or lonely, histories of Eastern Europe, abandonment.”

—Elaine Feinstein, The Times

 

“These poems, often troublingly dark, are sui generis in the way they use what’s to hand to explore what’s hidden. Sampson’s technical subtlety is everywhere in evidence and her emotional range is startling.”

—David Harsent

 

“She creates intimacy of place through a chamber music of honed observations and epiphanic‘intrusions’. A major contribution to the literature of the local.”

—John Kinsella