Tolstoy in Love is the first full-length collection of poems by Tyrone-born Ray Givans. Daring and risk-taking, the first section begins in the voice of Anna Akhmatova, with what John Wakeman (founder and co-editor of THE SHOp), calls a triumphant, lyrical celebration of her son's release after years in Stalin's prisons. Notions of voice, and influence, are further explored in poems that are both inner portraits of and meditations on a gallery of writers, including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Emily Dickinson, John Berryman and Simone Weil. The second section... is largely autobiographical-reminiscences of a Protestant boyhood in Northern Ireland, evocations of a divided Belfast. The poems here are humane, sometimes touching, sometimes ironic, sometimes playful. Here are two books for the price of one, both worth having.