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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."

The Stairwell cover release

We are delighted to share a teaser image of the cover from our upcoming release, Michael Longley’s tenth collection, The Stairwell.

The cover’s aesthetic evokes a Greek vase, featuring an earthy color scheme, scroll work and, most prominently, an illustration by the poet’s daughter, Sarah Longley.  The illustration is a copy of a similar image from an ancient Greek vase depicting the Moliones Siamese twins, Eurytos and Kteatos, from Greek mythology. The cover blends two recurring themes in this collection: Longley’s use of Greek myth and his relationship with his twin brother, Peter, who recently passed away, and to whom the second half of the volume is dedicated.

Longley specifically references the Moliones in “The Twins,” found in the second half of The Stairwell, calling them “Siamese twins, joined below the waist … Two souls, one well-balanced charioteer / Taking the trophy and this epitaph.”  The image of these mythological twins helps establish Longley’s tone as he mourns and reflects on his relationship with his brother in the latter half of this collection.

And about the title? Refer back to our earlier blog.

-posted by Katie H.


Categories: Irish Poetry, Michael Longley, Poetry

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