Touchwood' is Dick Davis's first collection since Devices and Desires: New and Selected Poems' (1989), which Wendy Cope selected as her book of the year in the Sunday Times', calling it the year's most underrated poetry book'. The clarity and elegance of his lyrics, intimate and personal in tone, combined with his precise yet natural language, is undiminished. But there is a more relaxed feel to the book with the presence of epigrams and satirical poems like A Translator's Nightmare' in which the poet-translator is confronted in the underworld by the poets he translated or failed to translate. The book concludes with a brilliant, funny and moving retelling of the story of Esther and Mordecai.
Dick Davis was born in 1945. He has worked as a teacher in various places around the world including Iran, where he lived for eight years. He was Northern Arts Literary Fellow at Durham and Newcastle from 1985 to 1987, and he now teaches Persian at Ohio State University. Touchwood' is published simultaneously with his translations of medieval Persian poetry, Borrowed Ware' (Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation).
'Dick Davis writes poems that are unmistakably part of the great formal tradition of English poetry, yet at the same time add a new note to it' - Robert Nye, The Times