Stowaway: A Levantine Adventure

Stowaway: A Levantine Adventure

by Richard Gwyn


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This collection recounts a number of journeys that the stowaway of the title, a kind of anti-Ulysses, takes around the eastern Mediterranean, journeys that transcend historical time and incorporate elements of the mythic and the magical, as well as actual historical phenomena, from the fall of Byzantium to the Syrian civil war and the emergence of Islamic State or Daish. Sometimes the speaker in the poems is the stowaway himself, sometimes his account is overlaid by a retrospective narrator or the autobiographical interjections of the poet. In this way the stowaway’s story and the telling of it merge in a fragmented, multi-layered narrative.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781724583
Publisher: Seren
Publication date: 05/15/2019
Edition description: None
Pages: 72
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Richard Gwyn grew up in Breconshire. Following several years in London, he spent a decade travelling on and around the Mediterranean, much of it recorded in his award-winning memoir, The Vagabond’s Breakfast. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Cardiff University and the author of three previous collections of poetry and three novels. Both his fiction and poetry are widely translated.

Table of Contents

Reckless Travel 9

Some Journeys 10

Stowaway I (He dreamed of Byzantium) 11

Episodic Insomnia 12

The Names 13

The Days 14

Cities and Memories 15

Map of Venice 16

Stowaway II (He is put to work) 17

Workers' Hostel 18

The Cats of Aghia Sophia 19

Memo to Enrico Dandolo 20

Stowaway III (Fitting in) 21

Peter and the Ants 22

New Year's Journey 23

Stowaway IV (Rumours) 25

The Road to Susa 26

Maker of Golems 27

Earthquake 29

Cities Unvisited 30

Solace of the Journey 31

Amorgos 32

Facing Rabbit Island 33

Stowaway V (Jumping ship) 35

Old Greeks 36

Fisherman's Tale 37

The Poet in Samos 38

The Museum of Innocence 39

Animal corollary 40

Only the Journey 41

Stowaway VI (Pine forests of the Aegean) 42

Hospital Stay 43

Milk of Human Kindness 44

Terrible Dream 45

The Spice Markets of Antioch 46

Taking root 47

On the Quay: Smyrna, 12 September 1922 49

After Smyrna 50

Incident in Rhodes 51

Shabra and Shatila (September 1982) 52

The Names: Remix 53

From Naxos to Paros 55

On Lesbos (November 2017) 56

Acknowledgements 59

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