‘These are beautifully-made poems; thoughtful, observant and undeceived … She has bite, and she sings.’Declan Ryan – Poet, and former editor of, Ambit Magazine
‘This volume is as much a journey into the imagination as into ourselves; a pilgrimage that is its own sweet destination.’Theophilus Kwek, Editor, Oxford Poetry
Alexandra Strnad’s latest pamphlet, Pilgrims can be purchased here from Eyewear Publishing Ltd.
‘Alexandra Strnad’s characteristically supple and observant voice takes new flight in this second pamphlet, which hymns the harsh beauty of landscapes from the Scottish Borders to faraway Bohemia (“a land-locked country…always thirsting for the sea”). Page after page, she leads us by the hand across topographies of outer and inner worlds, at once exploring the “white-lipped, blue-veined” terrain of distant places, and – what is rarer – “the quiet / rigging of a soul”. This volume is as much a journey into the imagination as into ourselves; a pilgrimage that is its own sweet destination.’Theophilus Kwek, Editor, Oxford Poetry
From the cobbled streets of Prague, to the rivers and coastlines of the Scottish Borders, Pilgrims journeys through place and time, juxtaposing totalitarian authority in communist Czechoslovakia, fishing communities left without menfolk following storms in the North Sea, and love and longing against the variegated seasonal backdrop of the British Isles. These poems are deft and sensuous explorations of distance and alienation, and of the interaction between joy and sorrow.
‘Alexandra Strnad’s voice is measured – “calm as all truth-tellers”, to quote her out of context – but there’s an insistence, a pulse and panic, beneath its poised surface. These are beautifully-made poems; thoughtful, observant and undeceived narratives peopled by “disaster tourists/wanting to be alone”. She has bite, and she sings.’Declan Ryan – Poet, and former poetry editor, Ambit Magazine
‘In settings that range from a past Prague to the sensuous present of the Scottish uplands, distance and closeness co-exist to create an often hallucinatory immediacy. Pivotal moments of change and dislocation interweave, through a lens of emotional connection, with the time-surpassing elements of the natural world. The collection is characterized throughout by a deft precision and a clarity of perception that give to the whole a compelling authenticity.’Dr. Clare Morgan – Director, Master of Studies in Creative Writing, University of Oxford
There is precision and often surprise to the way Strnad paints her pictures of wildlife, a wildlife that often mingles with man. The poems suggest a well-travelled, keenly observant poet, looking on with binoculars from the shade.Paul Stephenson for Sphinx