Maureen Almond is delighted to announce the official launch of her sixth collection, (Pub. Biscuit, 2009)
Chasing the Ivy
Lit and Phil in Newcastle
Wednesday, 11th November, 2009
FREE ENTRY – Wine and Nibbles
In these modernizing versions of the thirty-eight poems of the Latin poet Horace’s
first book of Odes from two millennia ago, Maureen Almond addresses the
contemporary poetic career in lyric form, and casts a passionate, ironic and comic
eye on trying to break into and advance through today’s literary world. Horace
comes alive again in this wry, entertaining and well-wrought collection.
Professor Stephen Harrison
(Fellow and Tutor in Classics, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Professor of Latin Literature, University of Oxford)
Maureen Almond has taken her place in a line of distinguished English
interpreters of Horace-a line which includes Milton, Marvel, Dryden, Pope, and
Tennyson. In The Works, she produced what is surely the most significant creative
engagement with Horace’s Epodes in recent times. Her work will continue to be seen
as one of the significant contributions to the tradition of English poetry linked to the
classics, and one of the freshest and most original bodies of English poetry in our time.
Dr John Talbot
(Associate Professor of English and Affiliated Faculty in Classics, Brigham Young University)
Chasing the Ivy is a brilliant and wholly original take on the world of contemporary
British poetry, of arts-funding, sponsorships residencies and the glittering prizes.
Maureen Almond draws on Horace’s Odes to lay bare the vanity, envy, snobbery
and ambition of so much of the poetry scene – fading poets, fashionable poets and
amateur poets – with the satirical bite of Pope, Swift and Dryden. But Chasing the Ivy
is also a hymn to the civilised Horatian virtues of work, community and friendship,
gentle comedy and wise seriousness.
The recurring concerns of Maureen’s work – trenchant social analysis, ageing and
nostalgia, contemporary politics, and the difficulties of maintaining one’s own voice
in the face of a competitive literary community and established poetic tradition – make
for a strongly Horatian brew, but in Chasing the Ivy the originality of conception,
sensitivity to structure, and liveliness of language go well beyond the laborious
straitjacket of translation.
Dr. L. B. T. Houghton
Department of Classics, University of Glasgow