A History

Dan Burt

Illustrated by Paul Hodgson

Traven T. Croves (Design) Aldgate Press (Printer)




ISBN: 9781913513368


Publication date: 3 October 2022



A History is an elegiac 10-poem sequence, written about and in memory of Jill Robinson, a vital and continual presence in the poet’s life for almost seven decades, until her death from cancer in 2018. Burt’s eye is acute, unsentimental, and self-critical, unflinching in its depiction of illness, and unrequited love. His language has a Yeatsian severity, charged by vulnerability and an acute and expansive historical awareness.

Published to coincide with his personal-political memoir Every Wrong Direction (Carcanet), A History is a major work from a writer whose life story and poetic sensibility takes us to places not often captured in poetry.

Dan Burt was born in 1942 in South Philadelphia and went to Philadelphia public schools and a local commuter college, LaSalle. He read English at St. John’s College, Cambridge University, and in 1969 graduated from Yale Law School. He has practiced commercial, government and public-interest law in the United States, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia; has been a businessman; and, since 2001, is an Honorary Fellow of St. John’s. Carcanet Press published his first poetry collection, Searched For Text, in 2008 and his fourth, Salvage at Twilight, in 2019. Marlborough Graphics/Lintott Press brought out a poetry and photography collaboration with Paul Hodgson (2010), and You Think It Strange, his brief childhood memoir, appeared in the United Kingdom and the United States (2014, 2015). UK and US newspapers, periodicals and anthologies have featured his poetry and prose – The Financial Times, The Sunday Times, The New Statesman, Commonweal, TLS, Granta, PN Review and Clutag Press, among others – as has the BBC and Poetry Archive. His memoir, Every Wrong Direction, will be published in the US by Rutgers University Press in September 2022, and by Carcanet Press in the UK in October 2022. He lives and writes in London, Cambridge and Schooner Head, Maine.