Someone Else’s Life
Kapka Kassabova quickly attracted attention with her first collection All Roads Lead to the Sea (AUP, 1997), which won the NZSA Award for the Best First Book of Poetry, and her subsequent book, Dismemberment (AUP, 1998). With both these books out of print, Someone Else’s Life includes 26 poems from the first two and a substantial number of new poems, responding to new places and incidents, only confirm Kassabova’s gifts.
Drawing on a European tradition in several languages, and on a global life experience characteristic of the times, Kassabova’s lyric voice carries memories of loss, isolation and rootlessness. Intensely personal, her poems nonetheless note and observe with all the senses the finest details of the many worlds, symbolic and literal, that she inhabits. Everything in these poems is provisional, dreamt, remembered, hoped for, snatched out of time and into the brief passing moment.
More about Kapka Kassabova
Someone Else’s Life tells with supreme clarity and fearless candor what it means to be adrift in the last years of the twentieth century and the first of the twenty-first; it is a book of perpetual exile, of endless comings and goings, in a world that offers neither stability, nor salvation. Still, the very intelligence of this book – sceptical, riveting, passionate – suggests that there may be an answer to the uncertainty that is everywhere around us. – Mark Strand