Leo Aylen’s new poetry collection, The Day The Grass Came is a thrilling synthesis of hope, and joy triumphing over crass materialism. Simon Callow wrote: 'I am overwhelmed, thrilled, lit up. Virile, vital, virtuosic. Stupendous.' Melvyn Bragg referred to its 'visceral intellectualism' and called it 'a triumph.'
Four of the poems have won international prizes. The title poem is an apocalyptic dream about our capacity for self-destruction and our destruction of Planet Earth.
It is also a passionately tragic celebration of nature’s power to overcome humanity’s folly. It has already been performed in two theatres. There is comedy in it, but comedy balanced on the edge of catastrophe.
210 x 148 mm
'Leo Aylen has views to impart on the political situation in which we finds ourselves today; yet he draws on the distant past to give these eternal shape... However secular and rational we think ourselves to be in the material process, the lure of mystery retains its charm. Words may be plain and simple on first reading, but the invocative power of poetry and the visionary role of poets, are at once age-old and generously alive... The poet in search of his vision wanders through many territories and many histories...
'When poets become disenchanted something is seriously wrong. Our permanent sense of crisis makes the soul-searching truths of ancient myth the more urgent. There is very real achievement here.'
Leo Aylen was born in South Africa and obtained a First in Classics at Oxford University. He holds a Bristol University PhD in Drama and has been Poet in Residence at Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, and Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor at McMaster University, Ontario. He was awarded a Cecil Day Lewis Fellowship, a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship, and has won prizes in international poetry competitions. He has eight previous collections and has toured extensively, performing in the Royal Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room - in prisons, New York nightclubs, and to three-thousand Zulus on an open hillside. He was nominated for a BAFTA award as co-writer of the film Gods and Generals in 2003. Leo Aylen, poet, was the sole subject of three American nationwide television programmes (CBS).