ISBN 9780620812269
Pages 72
Dimensions 203x133 mm
Published 2018
Publisher uHlanga, South Africa
Format Paperback

Voices from Another Room

by Stuart Payne

The carefully modulated surface of Stuart Payne's poems belies the intriguing, startling and thought-provoking depths of thought and perception. Such deliberate tensioning between the obvious and the hidden allows him to craft finely judged poems that reward rereading. Whether evoking the touch of the sun or the sound of an old tape recording, his universe is both vivid and uncertain as past, present and future are considered and reconsidered, and the distance between minds is sensed and explored.

The distinctive atmosphere of Voices from Another Room is elegiac and nostalgic, the occasional emotional use of rhyme recalling Auden. The sense of a lived life is moving with loss and absence the major themes. Payne can also tell a story and paint a picture, the South African landscape occasionally opening out into a Mediterranean vision, while never losing sight of an ironic detail, as when "a cat... kneads a lap". This is an original voice in South African verse, and readers will want to keep his book within reach, "to recreate a world of missing words".


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About the Author

Stuart Payne

Stuart Payne was born and lives in Cape Town, where he's volunteered for the Off the Wall poetry group and Stanzas magazine. He studied English at the University of Cape Town, later taking French classes at the Alliance française du Cap. He was the winner of the 2022 New Contrast National Poetry Prize for his poem "Words for Dia! kwain".