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Come Down

Wales Book of the Year in Poetry category, 2021

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472155153

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 6th February 2020

Genre: Literature & Literary Studies / Poetry

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Winner of the Naim Frashëri Laureateship of Albania and Macedonia
Winner of the European Lyric Atlas Prize

‘Fiona Sampson’s voice is something new and it’s a delight to hear it . . . A joy to read’ W. S. Merwin

Questions of humanity, of point of view, are at the heart of Fiona Sampson’s new collection, Come Down.

Throughout, Sampson’s poems shimmer between the human perspective and what is beyond – some larger, longer-term consciousness. Language runs and dances over the stuff of the human body and the material of the landscape. And yet, despite these radical perspective shifts, the collection keeps in sight, always, the human experience: the act of creation; the way in which childhood memory and family lore impinge on the present.

Come Down ends with a long, eponymous poem, which moves fluidly and brilliantly through different forms of memory.


Numinous musicality remains a hallmark of Fiona Sampson's poetry. Come Down traces the meeting points of our fleeting human lives and the shifting timelessness of the world that surrounds us . . . But Come Down also faces up to precise human hurt [. . .] exploring place, memory and the chasms of history
Ben Wilkinson, Guardian
Fiona Sampson's Come Down places particular responsibility on the reader as a co-creator, the added medium needed to lend shape to her art. It is a welcome burden . . . We are therefore deeply invested and immersed, as Sampson points to eras and memories, moments of creation and preludes to extinction . . . Come Down is a rich travelogue through layers of experience.
Financial Times
A very fine poet indeed . . . This perfect equilibrium between the numinous and the touchable is typical of Sampson's achievement
The passion surfaces in an elegiac, metaphysical flux . . . [Fiona Sampson] takes things apart, deconstructs them to set free the music inside
Jaan Kaplinski
I am amazed at Fiona Sampson's ability to be metaphysical and visceral at once - to be savagely tender even, at times. Her image-making is entirely original, as is her diction; and she can elevate the ordinary and settle the elevated
John Kinsella
The most generous thing the poet can do is to give us vivid, piercing memories that become our experience . . . Here, dangerously and marvellously, [Fiona Sampson] comes close to revealing herself as a symbol
Tomas Salamun
Fiona Sampson's voice is something new and it's a delight to hear it . . . A joy to read
W. S. Merwin
The imagination is always at work; demonstrating that curiosity is a form of passion
The Sunday Times
Sensual, sharply intelligent, searching; these poems live on their own terms, in their own appointed ground . . . deeply musical, intellectually engaged and, most importantly, in love, not only with language, but also with the world we seek day by day
John Burnside