An origami crane in remembrance of Hiroshima. A father’s faded old photograph of his 1970s pre-marital sports car. Youths congregated at a bus stop. The sounds of an empty house after the children have flown the nest. Common phrases spoken by US tourists. Gangs fighting to the death. Radioactive clouds raining down over Europe. A collection of Princess Diana memorabilia. Teaching English in Siberia. These are just a handful of the themes touched upon in Michael Oliver-Semenov’s deeply personal and introspective first poetry collection.
Second prize winner, Terry Hetherington Award for Young Writers 2012.
‘Self-deprecating and wise,’ these poems ‘are full, not only with laughter at the follies of everyday life, but with sadness too at its poignancy. They work to deflate pomposity where they find it, and celebrate a bleakly beautiful urban world.’ Zoë Brigley.
M. A. Oliver-Semenov was born in Ely, Cardiff. After his debut publication in 2009 he served as the first poet in residence for Blown, the magazine of cultural intelligence, and has since published in a plethora of magazines and journals worldwide, including the The Morning Star, Orbis, Mandala Review and Ink Sweat and Tears.
In 2011 Michael emigrated to Siberia to live with his wife Anastasia. When he is not growing vegetables at the family dacha in summer, or avoiding the wild Siberian hounds of winter, Michael is also a freelance English teacher and occasionally contributes to The Siberian Times.
Mao has poems in the Parthian anthologies Nu: fiction and stuff, Nu2: Memorable Firsts, Cheval and 10 of the Best. His memoir Sunbathing in Siberia was published by Parthian in 2014. His debut poetry collection The Elephant's Foot was published by Parthian in 2016.