Figure in a Landscape

Anna Crowe’s sequence of twenty-one poems Figure in a Landscape was published by Mariscat Press and launched at the StAnza poetry festival in St Andrews in 2010. It was the Poetry Book Society’s pamphlet choice for Spring 2010.

The sequence is a meditation on Paisatge amb figueres (Landscape with fig trees), the work of sculptor Andreu Maimó. Anna Crowe dedicates the book to her brother-in-law and niece and to the memory of her sister, adding the following note:

“The place-names are the names of Maimó’s ceramics and paintings, and of farms on the island of Mallorca, where my sister lived for some years after leaving Madrid. I first came across Maimó’s work in a catalogue a few months after my sister’s death. Even on the page, his life-size ceramic evocations of fig trees have tremendous presence. I had always planned to give my sister a fig tree, but between my ordering it from the nursery and its arrival in Pollenã she died.”

The sequence has been translated into Catalan and has in turn inspired a new set of engravings by Andreu Maimó which was published by Ensiola, Mallorca in a paperback bilingual edition and in a numbered folio edition (March 2011).

Figure in a Landscape received the Callum MacDonald Memorial award for Scottish pamphlet poetry in May 2011.

From the Poetry Book Society selectors on their pamphlet choice in Spring 2010:

“Read in sequence the poems achieve a beautifully layered effect, moving from childhood through to adulthood, motherhood and death. But they are searching poems too, restless and unsettled, and one is aware of a conversation stopped short. … Crowe knows just how much to give and how much to hold back, offering fleeting glances and sometimes strange images … These are sinewy, questing poems, alive with memory and attentive to the interior landscape.”

From Stuart B Campbell’s review of the 2010 StAnza Festival, Northwords Now, Summer 2010:

“Anna Crowe read from a series of poems written in memory of her sister. These were poems of mourning that contained and sustained the grieving process. A lesser writer might have been overwhelmed by the necessary sincerity of the subject, but Crowe’s craft matched that task to give poetry of intense feeling and direction.”

Figure in a Landscape was also recommended on the Scottish Poetry Library website.

Anna Crowe

Co-founder, former artistic director, and Honorary President of StAnza, Scotland’s Poetry Festival. Has tutored many times for the Arvon Foundation, and her work has been widely anthologised, and translated into Catalan, Castilian, French, German and Italian. Her poems have been set to music by Alan Bullard and Jean-Christophe Rosaz, and inspired a video film by Marcus Rees-Roberts.

Participant at numerous poetry festivals, including Aldeburgh, Aye Write, Glasgow,Cúirt Festival in Galway, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Europa és una dona in Barcelona, Festival de Poesia in Lleida, Limerick Poetry Festival, Pido la Paz y la Palabra in Bilbao; Poetry Now in Dún Laoghaire, StAnza, Sitges festival de poesia, VERSschmuggel in Berlin, and Wigtown Book Festival.