Author: Phoebe Power
Extent: 128 pp
Publication: April 2022
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Book of Days is a long poem recounting a journey along the popular pilgrimage route, or ‘Camino’ to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Animated by song and conversation, the poem is filled with the stories of those encountered along the way, combining a multi-voiced soundscape with vivid verbal sketches of landscape and architecture. The possibilities and contradictions of a twenty-first-century pilgrimage are revealed: inevitably informed by tourism and technology, yet offering new kinds of fellowship and connection in an age of individualism and rootlessness. Book of Days can be read as a travel memoir, a meditation on community and solitude, on friendship and sisterhood, and on spirituality. What pilgrims seek on setting out and what they discover as they go prove to be complementary.
Phoebe Power’s debut collection, Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet, 2018), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was shortlisted for the 2018 T. S. Eliot Prize and won the 2018 Forward (Felix Dennis) Prize for Best First Collection. Book of Days extends the formal and thematic concerns of the first book, travelling a new set of paths but with the same restless curiosity and celebratory wonder.