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The Emma Press





Bezdelki is a short pamphlet of poems by Carol Rumens. With illustrations by Emma Wright. Winner of the 2018 Michael Marks Award.

“The bright black fur I dare not kiss,
the deep-crowned cap you’ll never wear –
what grave is shallower than this?
Perhaps some trace of you clings there,
some salts and sugars, skin-cells, hair?
The brain’s hard brunt is what I miss.


I feel into a fathomless nest;
a softness crackles round my hand.
I turn the lining outermost,
and watch a tiny ampersand
run for its life on the soiled band.
I smile your sad smile, shapka-ghost.”

– ‘Shapka and Spider’, from Bezdelki

Page count: 36

Paperback ISBN 978‑1‑910139‑80‑6

Publication date: 18th January 2018

GTIN: N/A SKU: 9781910139806 Categories: , , , Tags: ,

Carol Rumens

Carol Rumens is originally from South London and now lives in North Wales, where she teaches creative writing at Bangor University. She has published sixteen collections of poetry, most recently Animal People (Seren, 2016). Her work appears in many anthologies, including The Best British Poetry (2014) and The Forward Anthology (2016). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


In Carol Rumens’s Bezdelki, small things help to shore up the memory of a life. These elegies for her late partner, Yuri Drobyshev, explore the principle that death – even for atheists – isn’t purely loss. Instead, a kind of conversation between two people can be continued through willed acts of memory, whether by rooting through a toolbox or by revisiting well-loved books. Bezdelki shares with us this moving, many-textured communication.

With black-and-white illustrations by Emma Wright.


‘The Emma Press delivers another beautifully illustrated collection, featuring poems and translations dedicated to the memory of translator Yuri Drobyshev. A reflection upon memory and the mortal condition, Rumens draws from a range of cultural touchstones, including historical imaginings of the afterlife. A moving and thought-provoking pamphlet.’ – PBS Bulletin

Additional information

Dimensions 11 × 17.8 cm

Print, eBook

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