This is a very dangerous book: it plays with words, with fire, with water, with animals - with anything and everything: even refrigerators and ice-creams. After I read it, the world wasn't the same again. If you read it, you won't be either. -- Michael Rosen
George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948, and came to England with his family after the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. He was educated in England, training as a painter, and has always written in English. In recent years he has worked as a translator of Hungarian literature, producing editions of such writers as Otto Orban, Zsuzsa Rakovszky and Agnes Nemes Nagy. He co-edited Bloodaxe's Hungarian anthology The Colonnade of Teeth. His Bloodaxe poetry books are The Budapest File (2000); An English Apocalypse (2001); Reel (2004), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; New & Collected Poems (2008) and The Burning of the Books and other poems (2009), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009. Bloodaxe has also published John Sears' critical study Reading George Szirtes (2008). Szirtes lives in Norfolk and teaches at the University of East Anglia.
In the Land of Giants is a wonderful book. Buy a copy and see for yourselves. Or just browse through one and then see if you can resist buying it. George's reading at the launch had both children and adults spellbound. Those of you who know him, or have heard him at readings, or even just met him briefly will be unable to read these poems without hearing his distinctive and mesmerizing voice somewhere deep inside your ear. -- Hilary Mellon In Sweat and Tears The subject matter ranges widely; some are fantastic for younger children, some are probably more to be appreciated by parents. There is also a selection of translations from the Hungarian, by Otto Orban and Zoltan Zelk, among others. I loved 'The Lost Sock Mystery', which references MI5 and which by a happy coincidence I first read online while rolling socks and watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Alec Guinness. The Stone and the Star To my mind, he is the very best of poets for children (and adults, for that matter). Never showy or superior, equally comfortable with or without rhyme, and showing us the mystery, wonder and humour of the world with clarity and elegance. He observes and transforms, beginning with the everyday and ending somewhere else, inviting us into the poems, showing us what we thought we knew and revealing that we knew more than we thought. In this collection, there are over sixty poems to enjoy and share. Don't miss it. Books for Keeps The collection begins with poems that play with the English language and ends with poems translated from the Hungarian. The centrepiece is a series of poems focusing on a variety of characters, several of whom feel small and insignificant in a big world - the land of the giants. Eastern Daily Press