Child: New and Selected Poems 1991-2011 combines a generous collation of poems from Mimi Khalvati’s five Carcanet volumes with previously uncollected sequences. She orders her work autobiographically, telling the stories of her life in four sections: childhood and early adulthood; motherhood; meditations on light; and love and art, circling back to childhood in her celebrated final sequence (‘The Meanest Flower’). The figure of the child stands at the centre of the book, appearing in many guises: the poet as a schoolgirl on the Isle of Wight, or in half-remembered later years living with her grandmother in Tehran; her two children, now grown up; children in art; and an enduring sense of oneself as a child that is never left behind.
Here is the essential Khalvati: exquisitely nuanced, formally accomplished, Romantic in sensibility; rapturous and tender in response to nature, family and love. Her poems, David Constantine writes, ‘say what it feels like being human, the good and the ill of it, with passion, tact and lightness.'
About the Author
Mimi Khalvati was born in Tehran and grew up on the Isle of Wight. She attended Drama Centre London and worked as a theatre director in London and in Tehran. She is the founder of The Poetry School where she now teaches. Carcanet publish her six previous collections, including In White Ink (1991), Mirrorwork (1995), Entries on Light (1997), The Chine (2002) and The Meanest Flower (2007), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2006 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.