Jane Griffiths won an Eric Gregory Award for her poetry in 1996. Her book Another Country: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2008), included a new collection, Eclogue Over Merlin Street (2008), together with large selections from her previous two Bloodaxe collections, A Grip on Thin Air (2000) and Icarus on Earth (2005), and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. (Author photo by Lottie Hoare)
The poems in Terrestrial Variations respond to the sheer chanciness of life. They are elegies for friends, relations, dead selves, and unrealised lives, but - like Jane Griffiths' previous poems - they are also full of things, both real and remembered, whose importance is as much literal as it is symbolic. Linguistically playful and sometimes ironically impatient with their own attention to detail, they record repeated attempts to make sense of the world and the strange business of getting on from day to day. Their slant perspective invites the reader too to realise: 'You'll never again say this is where I stand, and mean it.'
'Jane Griffiths is a poet attracted to the cross-hatchings of matter and spirit; inner and outer; air and water; foreignness and a sense of home…she has something of the Dutch still-life painter's eye: the comprehension of solid form as nothing, finally, but the effect of light. Sensuously wrought and even, at times, subtly erotic, her poems simultaneously evoke another level of pure abstraction, with words in place of coils of paint.'
—Adam Thorpe, Guardian
'The extraordinary exuberance of Jane Griffiths's poems is a product of their strange balancing between the image and the idea. The images seem to have a verbal life of their own, generated by a dominating thought that the reader is hardly aware of. But then it dawns on you, slowly but unforgettably, and you enjoy the things in the poem all the more when you see what they are for'
Bloodaxe Books / DuFour Editions