New Title: The Messenger House - part history, part poetry, part travelogue
In her fifth book Janet Sutherland explores journals written by her great-great-grandfather, George Davies, as he travelled to Serbia with his Queen’s Messenger friend, Mr Gutch, in 1846 and 1847. She writes her own journals during a trip to Hungary and Serbia in 2018 and after her cancer diagnosis and treatment during the first Covid lockdowns of 2020. Poems, journals, letters, messenger regulations and other testimony, both imaginary and actual, question, answer and echo each other in a radical collage. All the writers are grappling with uncertainties. Sutherland is intrigued by what these testimonies reveal and hide. Part history, part poetry, part travelogue – these journals, poems and other writings interweave the then and now, the observed and imagined. What do we know about these messages and their messengers? What secrets and possibilities might these words carry? What can they tell us about ourselves?
Published April 2023. Paperback, 264pp, 9x6ins. £16.95 / $24