Irish Titles

 
Daragh Breen  What the Wolf Heard

Published 2016. Paperback, 86pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614963 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In the opening Lighthouses section of this volume the west coast of Ireland is recast as a kind of Burroughsian Land of the Dead, with the ghost-lights from defunct lighthouses mixing with those of the automated in a sequence that slowly allows itself to be decoded.
     Ned Kelly, given his own requiem, is found morphing in and out of a lupine-self following the destruction of the last wolf in Ireland and a period which saw the mass-banishment of many of the country’s underclasses to the new British antipodean colonies. Other poems are suggestive of a bestiary, presenting various animals that have been damaged and reformed by their current environment.
Cover of What the Wolf Heard by Daragh Breen
 
Susan Connolly: Forest Music

Published 2009. Paperback, 108pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848610262 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Forest Music is Susan Connolly's second full-length collection. Many poems in the book depict the author's personal encounter with her landscape. Living in Drogheda, close to the Boyne Valley, her poems celebrate the famous archaeological monuments of Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange alongside local landmarks: the Maiden Tower, the seawall at Baltray and the discovery in a back garden of a cobbled garden dating from the early nineteenth century.
        Her recent work is more experimental in form. These poems involve a typography in which the visual pattern corresponds in some way to the sense of the word or phrase represented. Dissatisfied with words always moving from left to right across the page, in these poems words can be vertical instead of horizontal, and move in circles and spirals as the need dictates.

Picture of book cover Susan Connolly: Forest Music
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Susan Connolly The Sun-Artist

Published 2013. Chapbook, 34pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £6.50 / $9.95
ISBN 9781848613133 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The Sun-Artist is a collection of "pattern poems" by a poet who has been experimenting with visual texts—often with a uniquely Irish "subject matter"—for several years. Her last Shearsman collection, Forest Music, featured a number of such works, but this chapbook is entirely visual.

 

Picture of book cover Susan Connolly The Sun-Artist
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Susan Connolly  Bridge of the Ford  — Visual Poetry from Drogheda

Published 2016. Paperback, 100pp, 8.5 x 8.5ins, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848614659 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

“This is a love letter to the poet’s home territory: the Boyne Valley, its fabled and blooded river, the port of Drogheda and the mouth of the Boyne at Mornington and Baltray. Susan Connolly is a true original and like all true originals is intensely concerned with sources. These poems reach back to Kells, to Durrow, to Lindisfarne, to the holy books of those places, for the ground of their being. On the page, they negotiate visual spaces that can comfortably fit and ritualize the neolithic, contemporary hostage crises, Alexander Calder, the whammy pedal of a guitar. Symmetrical patternings that recall Persian carpets, traditional embroideries, and intricate folk handwork sit beside witty visual and verbal puns that recall ’60s and ’70s concrete poetry. Not the least of its many charms are the glimpses in this book of a fugitive Irish lyric poet flitting through the pages.”
­—Paula Meehan

Cover of Susan Connolly - Bridge of the Ford
 
Susan Connolly  The Orchard Keeper

Published June 2017. Paperback, 30pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins £6.50 / $9.95
ISBN 9781848615601 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Francis Ledwidge was a frequent visitor to the McGoona household at Donaghmore, near Navan, Co. Meath. Matty McGoona, an amateur naturalist and musician, became his close friend. A chance encounter with an elderly man beside the orchard at Donaghmore was the catalyst which led Susan Connolly to explore the life of Francis Ledwidge in greater depth, and to write her sequence of poems, The Orchard Keeper. Francis Ledwidge was born in Slane, Co. Meath, in 1887. He wrote poetry from an early age. He enlisted in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1914, and survived the battlefields of Gallipoli, Serbia and Arras before being killed on July 31st, 1917, the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres.
     The six poems gathered under the title Woman in a Black Hat, warmly recall the lives of close friends and family.
Cover of Susan Connolly - The Orchard Keeper
 
Anamaría Crowe Serrano  onwords and upwords

Published 2016. Paperback, 96pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614574 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"In these poems, words are a scalpel that probes the shifting sands of meaning. Themes of identity, communication, love, loss and isolation are peeled pack to reveal, with devastating precision, both the deficiencies and the power of language: words that can heal or save; words that paralyse and attack. The poet uses her instrument — language — both to celebrate and to question whether words can ever be a true medium to define, express identity, communicate. With an unflinching gaze and an originality we have already come to know in Anamaría Crowe Serrano’s work, she both exalts and undermines patterns and form in a way that surprises, provokes and exhilarates." —Elizabeth McSkeane

Cover of Anamaria Crowe Serrano - upWords and onWords
 
Anamaría Crowe Serrano: Femispheres

Published 2008. Paperback, 88pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781905700592 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A first collection for Irish poet-translator Anamaría Crowe Serrano. Over the past two to three years her work has been appearing in magazines in Ireland, the UK and the USA, as have her translations from the Spanish and Italian.

Picture of book cover Anamaría Crowe Serrano: Femispheres
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Trevor Joyce: with the first dream of fire they hunt the cold. A Body of Work, 1966-2000

2nd Edition. Published 2003. Paperback 9x6ins, 241pp, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 978-0-907562-37-5 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A collected poems by this late-modernist Irish poet who is finally being recognised for the important figure that he is. His first publication in the UK, this book is jointly published with New Writers' Press, Dublin. An earlier edition, in a slightly different format, was published in 2001, and is now o.o.p.

Picture of book cover Trevor Joyce: with the first dream of fire they hunt the cold. A Body of Work, 1966-2000
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Trevor Joyce: Courts of Air and Earth

Published 2008. Paperback 8x5ins, 92pp, £9.95 / $17.
ISBN 9780907562955 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This volume extracts the author's remarkable translation of the epic 'Sweeny Peregrine' from the above volume and offers it together with a large group of other versions from the Old and Middle Irish, thus offering Anglophone readers a glimpse of some very unusual verse that rarely sees the light of day outside academic volumes, while also transposing it into a form that will seem familiar to readers of Joyce's own work.

Picture of book cover Trevor Joyce: Courts of Air and Earth
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Trevor Joyce  Selected Poems 1967-2014

Published 2014. Paperback, 148pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848613522 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Trevor Joyce’s Selected Poems offers a major career retrospective, taking texts not only from his earlier Shearsman collected volume, with the first dream of fire they hunt the cold (2001; 2nd edition, 2003) and the subsequent large Canadian volume, What’s in Store (2007), but also from harder-to-find, and more recent material, both translated and original.

Cover of Trevor Joyce - Selected Poems 1967-2014
 
David Lloyd  Arc & Sill — Selected Poems 1979-2009

Published 2012. Paperback, 150pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848612112 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"David Lloyd's two recent chapbooks, Sill and Vega, have seen his poetic writing develop a constellated elegance, drawing on the European dialectical lyric for the resonance of key terms such as 'sill', 'lintel', 'sheet', 'flock' and 'stone' but on American objectivism for its precisely-punctuated prosody. While David Lloyd can be a mighty polemicist in scholarship, his poetry is noteworthy for its extreme linguistic scrupulousness." —John Wilkinson
 
Cover of David Lloyd - Arc and Sill: Selected Poems 1979-2009
 
Billy Mills: Five Easy Pieces

Published 1997. A5 Paperback, 32pp. £4.50.
ISBN 9780907562221

Five Easy Pieces provides a very accessible opening into Mills' work, with all of his main themes and devices present: the found text, the expressive use of space on the page, the landscape as source and record, the personal lyric… (Randolph Healy, Orbis). This book has since been reprinted in the author's Collected (see below).

 

Picture of book cover Billy Mills: Five Easy Pieces
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Billy Mills: Lares / Manes — Collected Poems

Published 2009. Paperback, 360pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848610460 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Billy Mills was born in Dublin in 1954. After spending some time in Spain and the UK, he now lives and works in the mid-west of Ireland. This collection brings together his seven previously published volumes, which have been revised and corrected, plus a selection of newer, previously uncollected work.

Picture of book cover Billy Mills: Lares / Manes — Collected Poems
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Niamh O'Mahony  Essays on the Poetry of Trevor Joyce

Published 2015. Paperback, 242pp, 9 x 6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848613393 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here.]

Essays on the Poetry of Trevor Joyce is the first collection of critical responses to an Irish poet whose writing consistently challenges received ideas of Irish poetry.
       The contributions that make up this collection span Joyce's writing career, from Sole Glum Trek (1967) to Rome's Wreck (2014), and are written by literary critics, poets, and publishers. These essays illuminate Joyce's poetry, aligning careful reading with insightful analysis to reveal Joyce as one of Ireland's most innovative and creative living poets. 
       Contributors to this volume include: Lucy Collins, Eric Falci, Fergal Gaynor, John Goodby, Fanny Howe, David Lloyd, Peter Manson, Niamh O'Mahony, Marthine Satris, Geoffrey Squires, Keith Tuma and Jeffrey Twitchell Waas.

Cover of Niamh O'Mahony - Essays on the Poetry of Trevor Joyce
 
Maurice Scully: Humming

Published 2009. Paperback, 100pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848610590 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Humming is Maurice Scully's first full-length book of new work since the Things That Happen project (1981–2006). Dedicated to the poet's late brother, it places human life in the larger frame of history and pre-history, of a world in drifts of pollen, and other life possibilities over large stretches of time in which the poetry can score its pollen-like trace knowing

           "how to wait 
                             what to expect"  what to expect"

Picture of book cover Maurice Scully: Humming
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Maurice Scully: Tig

Published 2006. 102pp, paperback 8.5x5.5ins. £9.95 / $17.
ISBN 9780907562962 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Maurice Scully is one of Ireland's most original poets, and most unusual. All of his work over the past 25 years has been part of one enormous project, under the umbrella title Things That Happen, which is completed with the appearance of this volume, the final section of the whole work, and Sonata (the penultimate section, also published in 2006 by Reality Street Editions). A criss-crossing of languages and cultures, and the point at which the personal life of the author intersects with the public domain, Tig is an absorbing book in its own right, as well as being the summation of one of the most interesting projects in recent Irish writing.

Picture of book cover Maurice Scully: Tig
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Maurice Scully  Several Dances

Published 2014. Paperback, 132pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848613362 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This book is not quite a ‘collection’ or ‘poems’. Something odd is going on: things repeat, vary, develop, disappear to reappear skewed and the book ends, then doesn’t. And the ‘poems’ involve events in literature, poetry we all know – Yeats, Carlos Williams – and some we don’t – anonymous Irish poets of several centuries ago – and brings them in a dance across time, into the mind. Moments in time are not frozen, things that happen are not selected and described. They just happen. Fluid energy is taken on for what it is, and that’s the way things are.

Cover of Maurice Scully - Several Dances
 
Michael Smith Prayers for the Dead and other poems
Published 2014. Paperback, 88pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $16

ISBN 9781848613379 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
 
This is Michael Smith's first collection since his Collected Poems of 2009, and is an elegiac volume. As the author says: "Let me try to define prayer as I am using it here. It is a voice in the head, ours and not ours. It speaks in words we scarcely understand. Unstoppable, unless distracted by our quotidian pursuits. Beckett said it thus: 'All poetry, as discriminated from the various paradigms of prosody is prayer.' Enigmatic, but what else would one expect from Beckett? Essentially, I perceive prayer as a form of homage or 'recognition'—the other word used by Beckett."
Picture of book cover Cover of Michael Smith Prayers for the Dead and other poems
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Michael Smith & Luis Ingelmo Poems from Other Tongues

Published 2011. Paperback, 106pp, 9x6ins, £9.95
ISBN 9781848611344 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A companion volume to Michael Smith's Maldon & Other Translations (2004), this volume collects his translations from Greek, Latin, Irish and Andalusian Arabic, the latter poems being co-translated with Luis Ingelmo.

Picture of book cover Michael Smith & Luis Ingelmo Poems from Other Tongues
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Michael Smith: Collected Poems

Published 2009. Paperback, 244pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $21
ISBN 9781848610538 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This volume superseded the author's Selected Poems, The Purpose of the Gift (Shearsman Books, 2004), which was withdrawn from the catalogue when this volume appeared. Michael Smith is the author of seven previous collections, only two of which appeared in the UK, and a large number of translations, mainly from Spanish. Born in Dublin in 1942, he founded the seminal New Writers' Press and co-founded the magazine The Lace Curtain with Trevor Joyce. Although better-known for his translations, his original work should be recognised for its own special qualities.

Picture of book cover Michael Smith: Collected Poems
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Michael Smith: Maldon & Other Translations

Published 2004. Paperback 9x6ins, 154pp. £9.95
ISBN 9780907562603 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

NB This volume has been partially superseded by Cantes flamencos (see under Smith at the Translations catalogue).

Maldon contains translations from the Anglo-Saxon (The Battle of Maldon), the 18th-century Irish (The Death of Art O'Leary and Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen) and a large selection of cantes flamencos (flamenco songs) translated from an Andalusian dialect of Spanish. Although better-known in the UK for his translations of the baroque poets Góngora and Quevedo, Michael Smith has also translated the works of Rosalía de Castro, Neruda, Lorca and Miguel Hernández.

Picture of book cover Michael Smith: Maldon & Other Translations
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Michael Smith: The Purpose of the Gift – Selected Poems

Published 2004. Paperback, 9x6ins, 161pp. Out of print.
ISBN 9780907562597

This volume represents a full-scale career retrospective for an Irish poet, who remains too little-known in Britain. He is the author of six previous collections, only one of which appeared in the UK. Born in Dublin in 1942, he founded the seminal New Writers' Press and co-founded the magazine The Lace Curtain with Trevor Joyce. Although best-known for his translations from the Spanish, his own work should be better-known.

Picture of book cover Michael Smith: The Purpose of the Gift – Selected Poems
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Geoffrey Squires (ed./trans.)  My News for You: Irish Poetry 600-1200

Published 2015. Paperback, 240pp, 9 x 6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848614338 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The poems translated here were, with one or two possible exceptions, written between the 7th and 12th centuries AD, making them the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe. Latin, which arrived with Christianity in the 5th century and brought a script, was the only other language in play, although there are occasional loanwords from Norse and other tongues.
     Scholars can roughly assign the poems to centuries, on the basis of changes in syntax and word forms, but many that were written earlier exist only in later manuscripts. Dating is thus hazardous, and nor do we usually know the author. It is likely that one was written by a druid, six by women and rather more by professional bards; the remainder are probably by clerics or scribes.
Cover of Geoffrey Squires - My News for You: Irish Poetry 600-1200
 
Catherine Walsh: Optic Verve

Published 2009. Paperback, 132pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848610798 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Optic Verve is the latest long poem by Catherine Walsh, perhaps Ireland's most radical experimental woman poet.

"It seems a shame that many Irish poetry readers are unaware of Catherine Walsh's very obvious gifts. Her brilliant punning, the way she assembles disjointed, yet perfectly rendered fragments of Dublin argot and her ability to imply simultaneous narratives mark her out from her contemporaries." —Dónal Moriarty: The Art of Brian Coffey

Picture of book cover Catherine Walsh: Optic Verve
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Catherine Walsh: City West

Published 2005. 84pp, paperback. £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9780907562542 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Irish poet Catherine Walsh is noted for her long poems in experimental forms, and City West, completed in 2000, is her most recent such work, following Pitch (Pig Press, 1994) and Idir Eatortha (Invisible Books, 1996). Previously City West was only available in an Irish small-press edition, with a tiny print-run. 

Picture of book cover Catherine Walsh: City West
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