WINNER OF THE TED HUGHES AWARD FOR NEW WORK IN POETRY
In her version of Europe’s oldest dramatic poem, a requiem to a nation’s dead in a reckless, fruitless war, Kaite O’Reilly chooses the iambic drumbeat of English blank verse, and a long-lined lyricism that befits an epic lament. The language is modern, the word-music timeless, the rhythms ring with echoes of Elizabethan drama. In this powerful translation, the three voices of the Chorus tell the tragic story in a breathless song of mourning that insists on being heard.
Persians is a beautifully poetic version of Aeschylus’ tragic play. Kaite O’Reilly’s masterly retelling of this 2,500 year old story focuses on how war destroys people’s identity and her use of language is contemporary but never loses any of the historical context.
The Poetry Society
You can buy the book in all good bookshops from 29th July 2019
or come and join us at Mid Wales Arts Centre on 1st September 2019, hear Kaite read, and get your copy signed! (free entry and a free drink.. its a celebration 🙂)
Kaite O’Reilly on PERSIANS:
For some years in the mid-1990’s fellow dramatist Christina Katic and I volunteered for Suncokret, a nonpartisan grassroots humanitarian relief aid organisation led by people displaced by war in former Yugoslavia. We worked in frontline towns during the war and through the post war reconstruction. I started the first of my anti-war plays, YARD, when under missile attack in a makeshift shelter in an orphanage in the Krajina in 1995. In a lull in the shelling the next morning, Chris and I were evacuated out of Karlovac during what became known as Operation Storm, the largest European land battle since the Second World War. Although my experience of conflict was slight, it impacted profoundly on my world- view, politics, and the material I wanted to write.Years later John E McGrath, then artistic director of National Theatre Wales, approached me about writing a new version of Persians for the company’s inaugural year. Apart from long being an admirer of Aeschylus and, indeed, the production’s director, Mike Pearson, I was keen for Persians to be the final part of my anti-war trilogy.