"In the Wake of the Day" is a book of memories and journeys; from the chaotic energy of urban life in modern Istanbul, where John Ash lives, to the ruins of vanished civilisations; from personal incident to the narratives and vacancies of cultures. Ash inhabits the fertile and ambiguous territory where East and West meet. We 'know and do not know' the past. In an 'imperial city without empire, place of paradox', time too becomes fluid. The ancient, half-imagined past of Ur, Alexandria, Cappadocia coexists with a contemporary world in which 'tank tracks are driven over Babylon'. At the centre of this collection are John Ash's versions of poems by the great Alexandrian C.P. Cavafy. Working with Cavafy's voice, Ash expresses his own urbane intelligence.
"[John Ash] may be the doyen of a new 'Istanbul School' [of poetry]." --"Economist"
"John Ash could be the best English poet of his generation." Peter Campion, "Poetry," on "To the City""
"This may be the most auspicious debut of its kind since Auden s." "New York Times Book Review" on "The Branching Stairs""
"Full of elegance and poise, properly elegiac and alluding to real, as well as imagined losses and absences, the poems are by turns beautiful, entertaining, and moving." "Guardian""
"[John Ash]may be the doyen of a new 'Istanbul School' [of poetry]." "Economist""