Eva Salzman's home page

Eva Salzman  



Arts Council England Writers Bursary in 2003 

Society of Authors Award in 1999 

London Arts Board New Writers Bursary in 1996

Second Prize in the 1992 National Poetry Competition 

Main prize in the 1998 Arvon Competition



B-Flat & a Tonal Arch 
BBC Radio 4 - Wednesday April 28th, at 3:30 PM Short Story slot (This is part of week of commissions celebrating 80th anniversary of famous Aeolian Hall debut concert in NYC, of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue")

She has recorded frequently for BBC Radio 4, 3 and World Service, including "How to Build a Bridge" - Short Story commissioned by Sara Davies as part of a series "Voices"; Poetry Proms 2002; "Trading Places" - Interviewed by Simon Armitage. Also readings for Poetry Please, Stanza, etc.

Television: BBC - Newsnight, Breakfast Television, etc.

Eva Salzman and Van Howell were featured as part of the Guardian weekend's series "We Love Each Other" (09/2002). 


'Muse of Spleen' set to music & performed by Christine Tobin at leading Jazz venues - Ronnie Scott's, Vortex, etc - and featured on CD Romance & Revolution (Babel) which was chosen as one of the Jazz Albums of the Year by The Guardian. (Another track has lyrics by Muldoon)

Cassandra: Ground Zero 
Opera performed Dusseldorf, Germany February 2004. Composer: Eric Salzman 

Currently working on an opera, Hollow Hill, for Buxton Festival 2004 (Composer: Ian McQueen) 

Acclaimed musician Christine Tobin has set lyrics from "Muse of Blues", published in the booklet One Two II, to music. Performed as part of her set, including at Ronnie Scott's and the Vortex in London.

Cassandra (Composer:  Eric Salzman) 
New Opera Festival, Vienna, 2002
Oslo, Norway October 2001 
(Further performances planned in New York City and Paris) 

One Two (Composer:  Gary Carpenter) - Link to Website: http://www.garycarpenter.net/
- Greenwich Theatre, 2001 and English National Opera Studio, 2000 

House of Women (Singer:  Christine Tobin) - Poem written for the Album Cover - Link here

Shawna and Ron's Half Moon (Composers:  Ian McQueen, Philip Cashian and A.L. Nicholson) - Hoxton Hall (London 20001) 

Hard Cell: An Evening of Prison Readings (Composer: Rachel Leach.  Writers include Ronan Bennett) - Old Operating Theatre (London 1998)

Poem Brooklyn Bridge appeared on Verse Daily website as featured poem on August 26, 2003. This can still be accessed through archives at site, at http://www.versedaily.org/brooklynbridge.shtm
Muse of Spleen, another Verse Daily choice, can still be accessed via: http://www.versedaily.org/musespleen.shtml

Royal Literary Fund (www.Rlf.org.uk) Fellow at Ruskin College, Oxford.  http://www.ruskin.ac.uk/archives/rr993.htm (then click on 'Fellowship Scheme')

One of forty team poets nationwide for the Poetry Society's poetryclass project - an online poetry classroom and INSET for teachers.
For Information and Exercise Ideas see:

Interview with Eva Salzman on Lidia Vianu's Desperado Literature website:  http://www.lidiavianu.go.ro/eva_salzman.htm 

A regular placement for the Poetry Society's poets in schools scheme

Poem written for the Album Cover 
(link here)

Story in Terrain magazine 

Article for the Poetry Society's Newsletter on US reading venues (http://poetrysociety.org.uk/news/america.htm)

Residency at the Bromley By Bow Community Centre, 1999-2000 http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/places/brombow.htm


Cross-arts project with multi-media artist Nic Sandiland 

A Telegraph article about Oxford University Press, with quotes by Eva Salzman: www.akme.btinternet.co.uk/telegrph.html

Eva Salzman's alma mater, Columbia University: www.Columbia.edu/cu/arts/news/writing/top2.html

One Two Opera libretto, with Composer Gary Carpenter 
For a link to audio file excerpt from this opera, click on the image below.

picture by Van Howell; link to opera track "One Two" (libretto by Eva Salzman)
 Illustration by Van Howell for opera One Two 
(Libretto: Eva Salzman. Composer: Gary Carpenter.)


After Verlaine
The Buddhas of Bamiyan
Brooklyn Bridge

Audio Poems

  The Necessary Voyeur (338kb)  
  Helen's Sister (665kb)

(NOTE:  Audio files require RealMedia Player - if you don't have it,  read instructions on how to get it here.)

After Verlaine
My lovers are not literary types. 
They are labourers on building sites. 
They build houses and dig drains. 
They do not sip champagne.
I want their strong arms to pin me to the bed.
I want them to enjoy me without romance,
simply, the way they take their beer and bread.
I want to make them hard and make them dance.
They do not own a tie or fancy shirts, or a single suit.
Their bodies have an earthy scent
or reek of cheap cologne like Brut.
Their hands are rough and thick and elegant.
They're not so hot at grammar, except in bed
where I don't want much of anything said. 
Sometimes they don't wash, but breathe me in
as if my skin were made of oxygen. 
They trail a tang of sweat and stale tobacco everywhere.
Unfinished at the edges, they don't wear underwear. 
All they do is belch and fuck and hawk and fart.
They can't tell the difference between their prick and their heart. 

The Buddhas of Bamiyan,

like the Venus de Milo,
are much more beautiful without their feet
but if your gaze soars upwards
how not too upward? How?

The Buddhas of Bamiyan
cannot compete with an authentic God,
should never bear the face of even the false God.
You, who are as arrogant as the usual man,
may love more deeply the pity of a headless,

footless Buddha of Bamiyan - even doubly so.
You, who can meditate only bodily,
don't deserve the pelvis of Buddha.
God is the greatest practitioner of art
and her favourite sculpture is a modest man.

Like the Venus de Milo
(if you are the man who dwells on her),
the twin Buddhas of Bamiyan,
armless, can still embrace Afghanistan unbroken,
embrace those who would rather die than keep

each Buddha from divinity: its vanishing trick.
You who have a mind to, who can think as loftily
as the Buddhas of Bamiyan, can miss them but let them go.
Imagine all the fragments whole again,
and our signature on the empty sky.

Brooklyn Bridge

(designed by Roebling and finished by his daughter-in-law Emily)

This one's mine: not a nail-less Bridge of Sighs
nor a stage, where enemies or film crews shoot
but trembling on a net of "wheres" and "whys",
part Asses' Bridge, part Al-Sirat, less Iron Brute,

more hunkering church, grown from Gothic grey,
its cables spun from spiders bred in books.
That dark harp was made for me to play.
And however dark, I couldn't help but look

at ever darker slights, their height and girth
stringing me high above the traffic's hum.
I was harnessed by a yoke of fear, from birth,
less myself while adding to that sum -

the way the architect's now ailing daughter
laid her father's body, right across the water

  The Necessary Voyeur

(338 Kb RealMedia File, .54 duration)

  Helen's Sister

(665 Kb RealMedia File, 1.48 duration)


(© Eva Salzman)



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