While Banjo opens with a clutch of fine lyrics, elegies and set-pieces, at the heart of Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch’s new book is a remarkable tale of darkness and light, music and silence. Celebrating the centenary of Captain Scott’s arrival at the South Pole in 1912, Banjo gives us new psychological insight into the lives of the early Antarctic pioneers, as well as an extraordinary account of the role played by music in surviving the long Antarctic winters. Banjo is Wynne-Rhydderch’s most accomplished collection to date, and further evidence of a writer of great imaginative versatility.
'Everything is close to the nerve, everything under cool emotional pressure. The cuts blossom into freshness and colour. And delight, the delight borne out of precision of sound and an exquisite command of register’ George Szirtes
‘Lines full of beauty, sometimes gorgeous, sometimes stark . . . implicating us in the essential human situations, life, death and survival, she explores’ Philip Gross