Patrick McGuinness

(1968 / Tunisia)

Patrick McGuinness
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Patrick McGuinness (born 1968) is a British academic, critic, novelist, and poet. He is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Oxford, where he is Fellow and Tutor at St Anne's College.

Born in Tunisia in 1968 to a Belgian French-speaking mother and an English father of Irish descent, he grew up in Belgium and also lived for periods in Venezuela, Iran, Romania and the UK. He currently lives in Oxford and in Wales, with his family. more »

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Best Poem of Patrick McGuinness

The White Place

One afternoon we watched a programme on near-death
experiences: a woman tunnelled back through life

to what came after, and was reluctant
to return, since her life paled beside the white place

she'd been pulled back from. Now she lived between the two,
nostalgic for the afterwards she'd died into.

The next day, dozing on a stationary train
you woke and asked the question that had woken

in your mind as if it were on mine: ‘The white place'
you asked, ‘will anybody else be there?'

I didn't know. I hadn't thought to ask - no one
had - if ...

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