[an error occurred while processing this directive]
FOR ALL WE KNOW
Selected as the Spring 2008 Choice by the Poetry Book Society*
“... the reader will at once be drawn into what is at once a love story, a mystery with elements of film noir and spy thriller, and a meditation on reality and illusion, truth and lies…a remarkable work, richly detailed, subtle, intricate and moving.” Alan Jenkins, for the Poetry Book Society
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly:
“Borrowing its structure in part from the repetitions and variations of the musical fugue, this collection enacts the ways the past, present and future are interwoven. ... As the voices in the poems—and the poems themselves—talk to each other, Carson dissolves the borders between one time and another, between the personal and the historical, seeking and evading the truth always with the awareness that ‘The lie is memorized, the truth is remembered’.”
“For All We Know is rich with mystery, wise to the shadows events and possibilities cast on each other; its writing coloured with ‘Lenten violet’ and the ‘Blue’ which ‘stands for eternity, its gaze plumbs infinity.// To penetrate the blue is to go through the looking- glass’. It would be unfair to give away the ending. But Carson’s resolution is satisfying and necessary even as it throws us back on ourselves, and on big human questions about time, identity and the ‘Forest of Language’. That it does so at the same time as performing the elegant footwork of fugal self-reference, and in a music which resonates still more profoundly at each reading, makes this touching, masterly book unique. If there is a canon, For All We Know will surely enter it.” Fiona Sampson, Irish Times
Ciaran Carson’s For All We Know is a pas de deux of two lovers, of the very poems themselves, that moves between personal attraction and betrayal against memories of the Troubles and other historical events (the 60s, the Second World War). This mysterious book of dialogues evokes Paris, Dresden and other European cities, while citing Cold War thrillers, fairy stories, popular music, and the art of the fugue. Ciaran Carson is one of the most versatile and imaginative contemporary poets writing in English. For All We Know is a virtuoso display of his powers.
Spring 2008 clothbound and paperback
110 pages April 2008
$12.95 paperback ISBN 978-1-930630- 38-3
$20.95 cloth with plain vellum wrapper ISBN 978-1-930630-39-0
*(Founded by T S Eliot and friends in 1953, the Poetry Book Society is a poetry society that provides information, guidance and discounts on the best contemporary poetry for a wide-ranging community of readers.)
ORDER THIS BOOK
Harry Clifton SECULAR EDEN:
PARIS NOTEBOOKS 1994-2004
Winner of the 2008 Irish Times Poetry Now Award
“There is so much history in Harry Clifton’s poems, so much geography, landscape, cityscape, repeopled precincts of the imagination; so much human drama and comedy; so many people, mythic, unlikely and hauntingly real. And all of it is limned with a masterful formal dexterity and an apparently limitless cultural curiosity. This is a splendidly rich book.”
“He is home now, one of the most respected Irish poets ... and evidently absorbed in the perennially fruitful themes of ‘exile’and return. ... Seriousness and drollery, adventure and achievement, are all here. He’s already gone much of the way, and looks set to ‘go the distance’. Secular Eden should win his work the attention it deserves.” Derek Mahon, Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Secular Eden is full of figures in transit--freedom fighters in the forests and fields, travellers and refugees, even the lovers in the breathtakingly beautiful title poem--because transit is the very stuff of history: nothing in the world is constant, other than change, and Clifton gives himself over to this Heraclitean flux in poems that are both well-crafted and spontaneous, necessarily doomed attempts to capture the fleeting show” John Burnside, The Irish Times
“His dazzlingly accomplished book is arguably the first great work of Irish poetic post-modernism. ... A major writer is one who has escaped the anxiety of influence. Few achieve this by being completely original, and poets in particular are in a constant dialogue with the past. But Clifton achieves it in a paradoxically original way, by capturing with masterful fluency the sense of a world in which everything has happened before and been written before. His is a universe of aftermaths, hauntings and returns, in which even God (in the delightful poem God in France) dreams of becoming flesh again, as he did once before.” Fintan O’Toole, The Irish Times
This book is at once the lyrical diary of an Irish poet at a key moment in the life of Europe, and a meditation on sex and marriage, travel and history, the bright and dark of human happiness in a secular age. Harry Clifton’s first book in thirteen years, since Night Train Through the Brenner in 1994, is by far his most ample, achieved and complete statement yet.
Harry Clifton was born in Dublin, but has lived in Africa and Asia, as well as more recently in Europe. He has published five collections of poems in Ireland and the United Kingdom, including The Liberal Cage (1988) and The Desert Route: Selected Poems 1973–1988 (1992). His poems have been translated into several European languages, and Le Canto d’Ulysse, his selected poems in French, was published in 1996. He returned to Ireland in 2004, and now teaches at University College Dublin. Among many awards, he has received the Kavanagh Award and was an International Fellow at Iowa University. In April 2008, Secular Eden won the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, the top poetry prize in Ireland.
206 pages October 31, 2007
$15.95 paperback ISBN 978-1-930630-36-9
clothbound, with plain vellum wrapper; no image ISBN 978-1-930630-37-6
ORDER THIS BOOK
THE CURRACH REQUIRES NO HARBOURS
Shortlisted for the 2007 Irish Times Poetry Now Award
Medbh McGuckian’s new book unfolds a beautiful array of themes ― art, religion, landscape, nation, home ― that will be as seductive to initiates as they are glowingly familiar to lovers of her work. We start with sensual understanding (“the form of feeling”), move among the various arenas of experience (sexuality, work, marriage), women’s sensations in particular, and even more specifically the religious passions of women, and consider their lives on islands both symbolic and real, islands with which McGuckian has often signaled the existence of the individual, as well as Ireland’s place in the larger world. The poems cast an hypnotic spell that grows until, in the deep acknowledgement of human suffering, the reader becomes a “picturesque believer” in “saints that have the gift of dreaming right” (“Galilee Porch”). The source of such visionary belief is in perception itself. Like the currach of its title, her style moves fleetly across its contents, requiring no particular harbors because all harbors, and subjects, are its own.
80 pages September 2007
$11.95 paperback ISBN 978-1-930630-33-8
$21.95 clothbound with plain vellum wrapper, no image ISBN 978-1-930630-34-5
ORDER THIS BOOK
Michael Longley COLLECTED POEMS
"A keeper of the artistic estate, a custodian of griefs and wonders..." Seamus Heaney
Michael Longley has been called ‘one of the finest lyric poets of our time.’ In assembling the work of forty years, his Collected Poems displays a brilliantly sustained achievement, whose depth, beauty and wit can now be fully appreciated. Longley’s poetry combines intense concentration with remarkable variety. The formal and thematic range laid down in No Continuing City (1969) has undergone a series of rich metamorphoses up to Snow Water (2004), and the two new poems included here as an epilogue. Longley’s genres span love poetry, war poetry, nature poetry, elegies, satires, verse epistles, poems that reflect on art and the art of poetry.
“...a contemporary who should endure over the life of our language.” Donald Hall
“War--what it does to combatants and to their children--becomes a preoccupation throughout Longley’s work. ... Yet marital love and tenderness, domestic calm and pastoral counterpoise also stand among Longley’s signature subjects. ... Longley’s genius is pastoral and commemorative. ...” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“I can’t think of a living poet who writes such incredible sonnets. ... He travels with ease from the Iliad to his local fields. ... It’s hard to tell if he’s a poet of regular life who is good at stumbling upon depth, or a deep poet who knows that the quotidian is precious. And it’s not clear that it matters.” Laurel Maury, The Los Angeles Times
“...a wonderfully capacious book, at once stringent and delicate.” Andrew Motion, English Poet Laureate, The Guardian (London)
“Michael Longley’s Collected Poems is a volume of rare quality in many ways, not least in its unity. It makes visible for the first time the profound continuities in Longley’s work. ... [A]n essential book for anyone interested in poetry: it bears witness to a rare sensibility, one which seldom falters in its patient fidelity to the highest artistic and ethical standards.” Caitriona O’Reilly, Times Literary Supplement
“This wise, tender, beautifully cadenced work embraces man and nature, war and peace. A book to slow down with.” Niall MacMonagle, The Irish Times
“Longley comes from an Ulster Protestant tradition but sees beyond tribe to the shared tragedy of conflict. I carry his work with me to the war zones of the world.” Fergal Keane, The London Times
Paperback $18.95 ISBN 978-1-930630-31-4
Limited clothbound edition, numbered and signed $50 ISBN 978-1-930630-32-1
(cloth has plain vellum wrapper; no image)
ORDER THIS BOOK
For all available books by Michael Longley, please see our complete list of Irish poetry.
“Ambitious, tender and lyrically beautiful...” The Irish Times
“Juniper Street brings together dense yet taut poems, grounded in an everyday enriched by an intelligent, idiosyncratic awareness.”
(London) Times Literary Supplement
“Juniper Street is a worthy successor to her three previous collections, with its mix of to-the-heart-of-the-matter observations, and melancholic and piercing voices; we will be reading Vona Groarke for a long time to come.” The Irish Book Review
“ . . .This poetry is remarkable both for its use of metaphor and simile to create striking images that gleam and build into a luminous tapestry as the collection progresses, but also for its attentiveness to words as sounds that powerfully reverberate. . . . Groarke is an archly knowing and highly self-conscious maker of poetry.” Poetry Ireland Review
Throughout this volume, we hear a poet in charge of her subject and voice, investing no more weight in an experience than it will allow, but insisting that even a murmur can be a shout if one’s ear is properly cocked.
Anywhere. So long as there’s a flicker of sea,
a far-fetched train, a lighthouse nodding off
between tea-time and that moment when
your father brightly takes you by the hand
to a place that is the opposite of home.
‘Not over the rocks in darkness, Paddy.
You don’t mean to tell me that.’
$35 Limited clothbound edition, numbered and signed (plain vellum wrapper; no image)
ORDER THIS BOOK
For all available books by Vona Groarke, please see our complete list of Irish poetry.
COLLECTED POEMS, 1956-2001
“Kinsella is one of the finest poets of the last century, in Ireland or out of it.” Justin Quinn, Poetry Review
“‘TOGETHER, both as one, / We lifted our dripping blades in the dying light …’— the haunting, Dantean river journey of Thomas Kinsella’s ‘Downstream’ makes other poems inspired by the brooding Tuscan seem like homework.
And when the poem’s imagery of a skiff moving under starry skies effortlessly shifts to stark visions of a concentration camp’s ‘tall chimneys flickering,’ one wonders why this Irish poet isn’t as revered as Seamus Heaney.
Wake Forest University Press’ Collected Poems makes the case for this singular poet of enormous depths.” Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times Book Review
In the name of the Father
in the name of the spirit
gland of matter
blind staring bowel of being
in the name of the senses
in their binary responding groves
deign, O crushed lips, pursed
in the woman dark
where’er you walk
beneath his kiss.
$50 limited cloth edition, signed and numbered
(plain vellum wrapper; no image)
ORDER THIS BOOK
For all available books by Thomas Kinsella, please see our complete list of Irish poetry.