Dart by Alice Oswald – winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2012 – is a mesmerizing and stunningly original book, a poetic journey along the river Dart, the voice of the river interwoven with the voices of the people who live and work along its course.
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Over the past three years Alice Oswald has been recording conversations with people who live and work on the River Dart in Devon. Using these records and voices as a sort of poetic census, she creates a narrative of the river, tracking its life from source to sea. The voices are wonderfully varied and idiomatic – they include a poacher, a ferryman, a sewage worker and milk worker, a forester, swimmers and canoeists – and are interlinked with historic and mythic voices: drowned voices, dreaming voices and marginal notes which act as markers along the way.
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