Poetry International December Update

It’s a privilege to add no less than five new poets to the Irish section of Poetry International this month. First up is Peter Fallon, of whom Thomas McCarthy writes:

Here, literally, the company of horses – both working and

peter-fallon-jpgjpg_220x500jpg_220x500sporting animals – is a deep consolation in life.

In this collection, and at this point in his life, Fallon finds a redemptive power in the ‘shards and shatters’ of nature, in the delight of springtime and the rising aria of songbirds.

Sarah Hayden, meanwhile, describes James Cummins:

An intensely kinetic reader of his own work, Cummins writes that ‘move and countermove’ into texts that colonize the full space of the page with analogous abandon. Lines from songs activate mental hyperlinks – shortcutting the listener/reader to radio times gone by and to our other, win_20140911_151428jpg_220x500earlier selves. Occasionally at readings, he will stop his habitual, urgent pacing to sing these lines and then plough immediately back into the emphatic rhythms of his spoken words.

Paul Maddern presents Conor O’Callaghan as an equally restless presence in Irish verse:

O’Callaghan rarely settles. He is continually on the move and favours liminal harbour towns and shores – places in codjpg_220x500a state of flux, as is Ireland as it enters the new century. These in-between spaces, in which O’Callaghan employs numerous indefinite pronouns and adjectives (the ambiguity of the second-person, ‘someone’, ‘somewhere’, ‘sometime’, etc.), are littered with the detritus of our lives, and this waste-imagery recurs time and again across O’Callaghan’s four collections.

Paula Cunningham, according to Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, is a resonant and adroit new voice:

Cunningham’s adept control of language here is informed unknownjpeg_220x500by her medical background but is no less poetic for it. Her relationship with her patients is explored with Plathesque precision, for example, in ‘Amalgam’: ‘I see them whole and will / them smile again. I iron / out their inconsistencies . . . To compensate / I sugar them with pieces / plucked from me’. This is an assured voice, and it is revealed with variety and dexterity in Heimlich’s Manoeuvre.

Finally, I’m especially excited to publish Maurice Scully, of whom Kit Fryatt writes:

Scully’s poetry, though it is profoundly lyrical, is conceived not in terms of lyrics within a collection, but as book-length scully_portraitjpg_220x500units, as projects taking decades to complete. It is poetry that demands the reader’s time as well as the poet’s. That’s not to say that it’s structurally over-determined or solemn. The structure of each book of Things That Happen, and the books taken together, grows on readers as they perceive repetitions and returns

I’m delighted with how this selection turned out and I really want to thank the poets for their patience and cooperation. I hope the present offering suggests at least some of Irish poetry’s breath and diversity as 2015 fast approaches.

Reading at UCC December 4th

I’m delighted to be reading at University College Cork this Thursday as part of the ‘Reading Writing’ series facilitated by the School of English, which has previously featured Vona Groarke and Kevin Barry.  Prior to the reading I’ll be speaking at the launch of Surge, an anthology of new short fiction from four creative writing programmes around Ireland. And prior to that I’m teaching a poetry workshop. Happy days.