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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

The Radio

$13.95

Available now for pre-order

In The Radio, Leontia Flynn exercises her signature wit, formal inventiveness, bitter irony, and unique blend of vernacular speech and literary allusion. In the title poem, the radio is a portal from the outside world, piping “explosive news” of the Northern Irish Troubles into the poet’s childhood home, her mother constantly turning to “field the blow” from her children’s ears. The first two sections—“The Child, the Family . . .” followed by “. . . And the Outside World”—are titled after the classic book on child development by D.W. Winnicott. Within this framework, the poet relentlessly tests the boundaries of home and family life through sequences detailing the care of her infant child to the aftermath of her father’s death, and remembrances of poets such as Seamus Heaney, old loves and friends, and the heightened moments of the past. The final section contains three dialogues: a low-flying strafe across the fields of gender politics; a climate change debate between a defender of the industrial abuse of nature for the good of man and the responding voice of nature itself; and a satire writ between a weary mother of grown children and the Awesome Voice of the Internet.

This is a volume about transmissions that sometimes assault us and sometimes help us escape, signals breaking through from outside in, from past to present, from parents to children. As the “glazed God’s-eye / of the transmitter” keeps watch over home, the city, and the “fanciful list” of people who inhabit these spaces, we are made aware, and made wary, of the intrusion of technology into the mind of the poet. These formally inventive and superbly controlled poems balance Flynn’s trenchant observations with a deeply sympathetic understanding of her subject.

Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize


Praise for Leontia Flynn

“Such currents of difficult feeling, beneath the wise, glittering fronts of her poems, make them all the more remarkable.”
– Frances Leviston, The Guardian

“Flynn’s is one of the most strikingly original and exciting poetic voices to have emerged from Northern Ireland since the extraordinary debut by Muldoon 35 years ago … She doesn’t put a foot wrong on the page.”
– Fran Brearton

“Leontia Flynn disentangles complicated feelings with extraordinary elan and maturity. She has a natural’s feel for cadence and melody, and launches her singing line boldly and with a propulsion that energises her often elaborate syntax … Affectionate and truculent by turns, disenchanted but relishing the world around her, quick-witted and big-hearted, Leontia Flynn looks like the real thing.”
–Michael Longley

SKU: 978-1-930630-84-0 Categories: , , ,

Description

Available now for pre-order

In The Radio, Leontia Flynn exercises her signature wit, formal inventiveness, bitter irony, and unique blend of vernacular speech and literary allusion. In the title poem, the radio is a portal from the outside world, piping “explosive news” of the Northern Irish Troubles into the poet’s childhood home, her mother constantly turning to “field the blow” from her children’s ears. The first two sections—“The Child, the Family . . .” followed by “. . . And the Outside World”—are titled after the classic book on child development by D.W. Winnicott. Within this framework, the poet relentlessly tests the boundaries of home and family life through sequences detailing the care of her infant child to the aftermath of her father’s death, and remembrances of poets such as Seamus Heaney, old loves and friends, and the heightened moments of the past. The final section contains three dialogues: a low-flying strafe across the fields of gender politics; a climate change debate between a defender of the industrial abuse of nature for the good of man and the responding voice of nature itself; and a satire writ between a weary mother of grown children and the Awesome Voice of the Internet.

This is a volume about transmissions that sometimes assault us and sometimes help us escape, signals breaking through from outside in, from past to present, from parents to children. As the “glazed God’s-eye / of the transmitter” keeps watch over home, the city, and the “fanciful list” of people who inhabit these spaces, we are made aware, and made wary, of the intrusion of technology into the mind of the poet. These formally inventive and superbly controlled poems balance Flynn’s trenchant observations with a deeply sympathetic understanding of her subject.

Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize


Praise for Leontia Flynn

“Such currents of difficult feeling, beneath the wise, glittering fronts of her poems, make them all the more remarkable.”
– Frances Leviston, The Guardian

“Flynn’s is one of the most strikingly original and exciting poetic voices to have emerged from Northern Ireland since the extraordinary debut by Muldoon 35 years ago … She doesn’t put a foot wrong on the page.”
– Fran Brearton

“Leontia Flynn disentangles complicated feelings with extraordinary elan and maturity. She has a natural’s feel for cadence and melody, and launches her singing line boldly and with a propulsion that energises her often elaborate syntax … Affectionate and truculent by turns, disenchanted but relishing the world around her, quick-witted and big-hearted, Leontia Flynn looks like the real thing.”
–Michael Longley

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