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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."


Poem of the Week: “Going Feral” by Harry Clifton

“Going Feral” by Harry Clifton transposes the myth of Romulus and Remus or (Julia Fullerton-Batten’s 2015 photography series) and plays with the line between human and animal, the classical and the contemporary. Beginning “In a tenement room,” it speaks to the desperation of poverty in an urban sprawl (“the forest of cities”) and the alienation…

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Poem of the Week: “Leaf-Eater” by Thomas Kinsella

Though the titular kenning seems to promise a grand or heroic subject, Thomas Kinsella’s “Leaf-Eater” instead examines the inhabitant of a single leaf in the heart of a garden. Readers’ attention is directed to the minute form of a hungry grub, caught lucklessly searching around itself in “blind space” until it is compelled to “eat…

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John McAuliffe Reading Tour

Following the publication of the US edition of his Selected Poems (2022), John McAuliffe will travel to the US for an east coast reading tour during the first two weeks of April 2023. The tour will begin at Wake Forest University before heading up to NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House and Boston University. The tour will…

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Poem of the Week: “Missing” by John McAuliffe

In “Missing,” John McAuliffe tackles the passing of time by painting the scenes of forgotten landscapes now reclaimed by nature. As the poem progresses, the theme shifts towards death and the return of all things to the Earth, before finishing on a more somber and mysterious tone hinting us back towards the title. Missing A…

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John McAuliffe in Conversation with Conor O’Callaghan

In honor of John McAuliffe’s Selected Poems, we’re revisiting his 2013 interview with Conor O’Callaghan in The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry III. In the interview, John McAuliffe discusses writing some of his earliest poems, relocating with his family to Manchester, what it means to write an “Irish poem,” and his relationship to American…

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Poem of the Week: “Heatwave” by Michael Longley

In The Slain Birds, Michael Longley doesn’t shy away from images and words of the pandemic and isolation. Infused with the minutiae of daily life and epistemological musings, this poem “Heatwave” brings to light bloody war scenes and clean, cool water—an acceptance of the elasticity when the mind and body seemingly move in opposite directions….

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