Ciaran Carson

Imagesource,52622,en“Ciaran Carson is one of the best poets we have on both sides of the Atlantic and the publication of every one of his books is a major event in our literatures.” – Charles Simic

Ciaran Carson was born in 1948 in Belfast and educated at The Queen’s University there. He knows intimately not only the urban Belfast in which he was raised as a native Irish speaker, but also the traditions of rural Ireland. A traditional musician and a scholar of the Irish oral traditional, Carson was long the Traditional Arts Officer of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

In 2003, Carson was appointed Chair of Poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at The Queen’s University, and lives in Belfast with his wife, fiddle player Deirdre Shannon.

His volumes of poetry, published in North America by Wake Forest University Press, include The New Estate (1976), The Irish For No (1987), the critically acclaimed Belfast Confetti (1989), First Language (1994) which won the first ever T.S. Eliot Prize for the outstanding book of poetry published in Great Britain, Opera Et Cetera (1996), The Alexandrine Plan (1998), The Twelfth of Never (1998), Selected Poems (2001), and Breaking News (2003), which won the prestigious Forward Prize for best collection of poetry. Wake Forest published The Midnight Court, Carson’s rollicking translation of Brian Merriman’s eighteenth-century poem in Irish, in 2006, his mysterious, For All We Know, 2008, and his Collected Poems in 2009. On the Night Watch and Until Before After were published as companion volumes in spring, 2010. His most recent title,In the Light Of, contains poems that are adaptations of Rimbaud’s Illuminations. Carson was also awarded the Butler Literary Award for Poetry by the Irish American Cultural Institute in 2000.

His translation of Dante’s Inferno (2002) was awarded the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

Carson’s black humor, satire, and playful and serious interests in wordplay make him, as Ben Howard described in a retrospective of Carson’s career in Shenandoah, “one of the most gifted poets now writing in England and Ireland.”

In addition to poetry, Carson’s prose books include Last Night’s Fun, about traditional Irish music; The Star Factory, his personal history of Belfast; the dazzling, magical Fishing for Amber; and the strange and hallucinogenic Shamrock Tea.

An Interview with Ciaran Carson.

Books by Ciaran Carson

Ciaran Carson: On the Night Watch (USED)

Excellent Condition: like new “With this sequence of tiny, haunting poems Carson–venturesome as ever–may be wanting us less to read in the conventional sense than ‘to watch // what never seems / to alter’ as… $9.00 - view details

Ciaran Carson: For All We Know (USED)

Very Good Condition: slight bend in front cover   Selected as the Spring 2008 Choice by the Poetry Book Society One of Only Five Poetry Books Selected by Publishers Weekly as “Best Books of the Year” Please note:… $8.00 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Selected Poems (paperback) (USED)

Excellent Condition: Like New “The selections from each of the seven books of poetry to date…allow a reader to see the progression and transformation of this enormously inventive poet across twenty-five years. … this volume… $10.00 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Opera Et Cetera (clothbound) (USED)

Very Good Condition: faded dust jacket, sticker front of dust jacket “In Irish traditional music, very much a part of Carson’s life, the same tune should never be played the same way twice. [T]his use… $10.00 - view details

Ciaran Carson: In The Light Of

(After Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud) “The temptation with Rimbaud’s Illuminations, because the pieces are ostensibly in prose, is to render them more or less word for word, thus ignoring their music. But the more you examine them, and… $14.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Until Before After

These convincing and powerful lyrics were written before, during, and after a period of personal preoccupation with a family illness. Deeply rooted in the poet’s inner life, these poems movingly display the inroads of… $13.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: On the Night Watch

“With this sequence of tiny, haunting poems Carson–venturesome as ever–may be wanting us less to read in the conventional sense than ‘to watch // what never seems / to alter’ as you run frame… $13.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Collected Poems (clothbound)

“…Ciaran Carson’s much anticipated Collected Poems establishes him–for those who still need convincing–as a major poet both within and outside the borders of his native Northern Ireland. The book, which includes eight collections over the past… $29.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Collected Poems (paperback)

“…it’s a necessary volume. Carson, who was born and still lives in Belfast, and grew up speaking Irish, is a poet of witness to the Northern Irish conflict. He’s also compulsively playful, a colloquial,… $19.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: For All We Know

Selected as the Spring 2008 Choice by the Poetry Book Society One of Only Five Poetry Books Selected by Publishers Weekly as “Best Books of the Year” Please note: This is now the only available edition.… $12.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: The Midnight Court (paperback)

“Carson’s translation of The Midnight Court is that rarest of things: a small and utterly enjoyable masterpiece. It brings to a wider audience than ever before a great and neglected piece of 18th century literature and,… $12.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: The Midnight Court – clothbound, ltd., signed edition

“Carson’s translation of ‘The Midnight Court‘ is that rarest of things: a small and utterly enjoyable masterpiece. It brings to a wider audience than ever before a great and neglected piece of 18th century… $50.00 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Breaking News (paperback)

Winner of the 2003 Forward Prize for Best Poetry Collection “… Carson displays a constant, playful inventiveness in discovering new ways in which the rhythms of spoken and written (journalistic) language can come to be perceived… $10.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Breaking News (clothbound)

Winner of the 2003 Forward Prize for Best Poetry Collection “Ciaran Carson is the circus act of contemporary Irish letters — a double-jointed marvel who defies the narrow, classifying imagination.” Ian Samson, The Guardian “Breaking News is an… $18.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Selected Poems (paperback)

“The selections from each of the seven books of poetry to date…allow a reader to see the progression and transformation of this enormously inventive poet across twenty-five years. … this volume is a real… $12.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Selected Poems (clothbound)

“The selections from each of the seven books of poetry to date…allow a reader to see the progression and transformation of this enormously inventive poet across twenty-five years. … this volume is a real… $20.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: The Alexandrine Plan

In English and French; translations from Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Mallarmé “ [A] reader with even a smattering of French might appreciate how thoroughly Carson both translates – that is, carries across – and then transplants… $12.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: The Twelfth of Never (paperback)

The Twelfth of Never, which comprises seventy-seven sonnets written in alexandrines, floats on (or submerges in) the ideal republic or the Otherworld promised in fairy stories, aislings, the land of Cockaigne, lines of cocaine,… $10.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Opera Et Cetera (paperback)

“In Irish traditional music, very much a part of Carson’s life, the same tune should never be played the same way twice. [T]his use of performance and variation reflects on how people might exist… $9.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Opera Et Cetera (clothbound)

“In Irish traditional music, very much a part of Carson’s life, the same tune should never be played the same way twice. [T]his use of performance and variation reflects on how people might exist… $15.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: First Language (USED)(paperback)

Excellent Condition: slight fading top of cover, sticker on back Winner of the first T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for the outstanding book of poetry published in Britain and Ireland in the previous year. “Ciaran Carson’s First Language is a spectacular… $5.00 - view details

Ciaran Carson: First Language (paperback)

Winner of the first T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for the outstanding book of poetry published in Britain and Ireland in the previous year. “Ciaran Carson’s First Language is a spectacular collection…If you buy only one poetry book…this year, make… $8.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: First Language (clothbound)

Winner of the first T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for the outstanding book of poetry published in Britain and Ireland in the previous year. “Ciaran Carson’s First Language is a spectacular collection…If you buy only one poetry book…this year, make… $13.95 - view details

Ciaran Carson: Belfast Confetti

“Ciaran Carson’s latest book, ‘Belfast Confetti’, is one of the most exciting and innovative collections of Northern Irish poetry to be published in recent years…. Many of the poems are written in the fluent,… $8.95 - view details