The evolution of Margaret Atwood's poetry illuminates one of our major literary talents. Here, as in her novels, is intensity combined with sardonic detachment, and in these early poems her genius for a level stare at the ordinary is wonderfully apparent. Just as startling is her ability to contrast the everyday with the terrifying: 'Each time I hit a key/ on my electric typewriter/ speaking of peaceful trees/ another village explodes.' Her poetic voice is crystal clear, insistent, unmistakably her own. Through bus trips and postcards, wilderness and trivia, she reflects the passion and energy of a writer intensely engaged with her craft and the world. Two former collections, Poems 1965 - 1975 and Poems 1976 - 1986, are presented together with her latest collection, Morning in the Burned House, in this omnibus that represents the development of a major poet.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays.
In addition to the classic The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize and Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, was published in 2009. She was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.
Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto, Canada.
(Photo credit: George Whitside)