One of our longstanding members and excellent poet David Duncombe has a new collection, Poems from Prison and Life by Marcos Ana. David has translated the poems of Marcos Ana, a political prisoner under Franco’s regime.
Poems from Prison and Life by Marcos Ana (translated by David Duncombe)
ISBN NO, 9781916312180
‘These poems were written in prison, in the depth of night, by the poor light of a peculiar lamp, assembled from an old inkwell, a little alcohol that I smuggled from the sick bay and a wick plaited from the lace of an espadrille. Afterwards when eyes and keys were waking up, I would hide my words in a shoe and while walking in the prison yard, on a circular path that led nowhere, I would memorise the poems, giving them form and harmony…’
The Spanish poet Marcos Ana (1920–2016) was Spain’s longest serving political prisoner. Captured at the end of the Spanish Civil War, he spent the next 23 years in Franco’s prisons, often in solitary confinement.
In prison he started writing poems, which were smuggled out and published abroad, Ana was eventually released in 1961, following an international campaign led by Pablo Neruda, Rafael Alberti, Jean Paul Sartre, Yves Montand, Pablo Picasso and Joan Baez. Che Guevara was carrying one of Ana’s books when he was executed.
Clear, musical, painful and compelling, Poems from Prison and Life is the first English translation of Ana’s last book, published when he was 91, in order to ‘open a path of fire and rebellion in the hearts and minds of the new generations, in whose furrows we have sown our history.’
‘burning, militant poetry that exalts the voice of a people seeking the light of dawn, with peace in their banners and love in their throats… verses of struggle and hope.’ Pablo Neruda
David Duncombe’s books include novels for children and five collections of poetry, Borders & Baggage, Joy Rider, Occupational Hazard, A Brave Show and Pencilling In. He has served in the Army and RAF, and taught in Nigeria and Derbyshire, where he was headteacher in a comprehensive school. He has travelled extensively in Spain and has family there,
Available from Smokestack Books (see above), Amazon Books (search for Marcos Ana, Poems from Prison and Life) or order from bookshops.