Belief Systems

Belief Systems

Tamar Yoseloff

Available to pre-order, the book will be despatched close to publication date 06/06/2024

ISBN: 978-1-913437-92-3 

eISBN: 978-1-913437-93-0

Price: £12.99

Publication date: 6th June 2024

Format: Paperback / eBook

Territories: World

Extent: 72pp

DCF: Poetry Collections


Cover artwork: Robert Rauschenberg - Summerstorm, 1959. ©Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

The poems in Tamar Yoseloff's Belief Systems act as a call to make something worthwhile from the wreckage of our world, in the spirit of the radical artists she evokes, such as John Latham, John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg – visionaries who located power and beauty in what is forgotten.


Yoseloff’s poems intimately capture the artists at thought and at work – composing, repurposing and finding new life in the borders and liminal spaces. Alive with decay and regrowth, this collection leads us through a movement of seasons, along wild pathways and through stormy weather, finding places of transformation where nature, music and art thrive at the margins. Ultimately, Belief Systems point us towards the vital human acts of Illumination and imagination in this hyper-accelerated age – where ‘the small blue flame / like a pilot flame’ casts light on the mysteries of creation and existence.

Praise for Belief Systems:

‘With the quiet authority and craft of a mature poet, Yoseloff takes on the human condition in the light of our present moment with a spare and unsparing precision. Revisiting and remaking familiar structures like the sonnet, the specular, the elegy, these poems in their hope and their despair serve to remind us of the enduring and universal power of art to move and change us. Enter this book prepared to be ambushed by devastating and intimate ‘collaborations’ with artists, composers and poets. Do not expect to emerge unscathed.’ – Jacqueline Saphra

‘Modern art comes alive in these poems that exist, as Robert Rauschenberg wanted his works to, in the space between art and life. Rauschenberg’s Combines with their intensely suggestive yet never easily explicable conjunctions of unlikely, emotive stuff are arguably the most poetic masterpieces of recent art. Yoseloff explores them in language, probing their mysteries and amplifying their strangeness. She rises just as freshly to artists as varied as Joan Eardley and Joseph Beuys, yet these are also poems that snuffle the here and now, never letting art replace life.’- Jonathan Jones

‘Tamar Yoseloff’s Belief Systems is a tough-minded, unsparing collection, its wintry landscapes drained of colour, places where only yew-trees and implacable ivy thrive. This is the world of afterwards. Yoseloff’s beloved London is offered an austere elegy, while inward terrors take up the slack – a fear of hands, Nosferatu hauling himself upstairs. At the same time, Yoseloff’s lifelong immersion in visual art pays off – in a poem where Joan Eardley paints as ‘the sun is making gold of plain old hay’ and in the series paired with Robert Rauschenberg’s enigmatic Combines, where wonderment and gallows humour combine. Highly recommended, need I say?’ - Sean O’Brien





Tamar Yoseloff has published six collections, including The Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems (2015) and most recently, The Black Place (2019), both from Seren. She’s also the author of Formerly, a chapbook incorporating photographs by Vici MacDonald (Hercules Editions, 2012) shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award; and collaborative editions with artists Linda Karshan and Charlotte Harker respectively. She was a lecturer on the Poetry School / Newcastle University MA in Writing Poetry and continues to teach independently. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2023.

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