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Two The Irish Poets Library

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Penguin Book of Contemprary Irish Poetry
edited by Peter Fallon and Derek Mahon

It allocates its main space to Kinsella, Heaney, Montague, Mahon, Muldoon and Durcan, in that order. Some of the poets may hold the substantial space allotted to them because they were important two and three decades ago, but this anthology nonetheless sparkles in the selections it makes from these poets, and in the inclusion of Deane, Grennan, Mathews and Sirr. Mahon has made an outstanding selection from his own work, and the book is a good introduction to the important, mischievous work of Michael Hartnett.
Click here for Contemporary Irish Poetry.

Francis Ledwidge: Selected Poems
With an introduction by Seamus Heaney
Click here for Francis Ledwidge.

Francis Ledwidge: Song of the Blackbird
by Elizabeth Cassidy Olson

While the book is the story of Francis Ledwidge, it is also about the war and the symbolism of a blackbird in the poet's life. Life in Ireland at this time was very difficult and the author sensitively describes the person and the events that both hindered and helped his journey in a troubled place and time. Edited and adapted from an editorial review.
Click here for Song of the Blackbird.

Moy Sand & Gravel
by Paul Muldoon

A glittering new collection from "the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War" - The Times Literary Supplement.
"Among the few significant poets of our half-century."--Tim Kendall, The Guardian
This first full volume since Muldoon's monumental Poems 1968-1998 reveals one of the English-speaking world's most acclaimed poets still at the top of his slippery, virtuosic game. - from Publisher's Weekly.

Well, he did just win the Pulitzer for this.
Click here for Moy Sand & Gravel.

A Necklace of Wrens
by Michael Hartnett

These are bi-Language poems (Irish & English); in keeping with Hartnett's 'Farewell to English'.
In a return to the roots of bardic Ireland, Michael pursued his art (or craft, he may have said) in the company he met. Even to reciting his verse to pub patrons. He may have been paid in coin or pints; he didn't mind.
Click here for Necklace of Wrens.

O Bruadair
Selected & Translated by Michael Hartnett

We suppose Michael selected out the bad language? There are only twenty poems extant but it is easy to understand what drew Hartnett to O'Bruadair. O'Bruadair is considered the last of the professional poets of old Ireland. He ended his days as an itinerant labourer and an itinerant poet. Michael may not have been a labourer but a poet itinerant he was - bless him.
Click here for Bruadair.

Having attended a public reading by Paul Durcan as he set out on the launch of this book, I could not wait to afterwards get my own; pompousness will not be found here - rather a revelation in the banal, perhaps as good as Christmas Day and Daddy, Daddy; but all (of his) books are so brilliantly diverse that you will never bore of Paul; go on, buy the book, you can thank me later. Edited and adapted from a review by James in Galway
Click here for Friends in Brazil.

A Snail in My prime
by Paul Durcan

Click here for Snail in My Prime.

Selected paul Durcan
by Paul Durcan

In a Time of Violence
by Eavan Boland

Boland follows her previous collection, Outside History: Selected Poems, 1980-1990 , by moving inside it with poems that plumb her individual history and that of Ireland. Arranged in three sections, the first poems capture moments rooted in the last century and, with their chronological distance, can seem remote. More immediate in tone and domestic in context are poems in the second section, where Boland seeks continuity in recollections of her childhood and experiences with her daughters: "My hair was once like yours. / And the world / is less bitter to me / because you will retell the story" ("Legends"). In the last poems, Boland examines her often conflicting perceptions of herself as woman and poet, observing in the long and well-sustained "Anna Liffey" that "it will not matter / That I was a woman . . . / In the end / everything that burdened and distinguished me / will be lost in this: / I was a voice."
Click here for In a Time of Violence.

Christmas Day
by Paul Durcan

In this booklength poem, Durcan tells of a Christmas Day shared by two Irish bachelors, Paul and Frank: they bring each other gifts; they do not go to Mass; they have a meal; they sing a song or two-all the while reminiscing about old cemeteries, old loves ("Motoring down to Wesport/ And calling in on Mary McBride/ In the Old Rectory/ And taking the kids out for a spin/ All five of them") and the fate of being a poet ("Two men of no property/ Do men rate/ Who have no real estate?"). Durcan can't help but amuse...
It's a peculiar Irishness, perhaps, that permeates Durcan's poems, and may be the secret to his popularity.
FYI: Durcan's poem "The Goose in the Frost," written in tribute to Seamus Heaney's winning the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature, appears at the end. - excerpted editorial review
Click here for Christmas Day.

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Thu, Jul 9, 2015
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Can't Find it?!

Our Library is compiled from what we know and like. If you can't find what you're looking for read on.
• First: go to Amazon -
There's no escaping the fact that they are the largest catalog.
Note: There are multiple Amazons and they do not carry exactly the same items. Any one of the U.S., U.K. and Canada sites may not have the item but another Amazon will. Each site will ship anywhere in the world. Try them all before you give up.
Click here for Amazon.US.
Click here for Amazon.UK.
Click here for Amazon.Canada.
• Second: Amazon doesn't have it? Try Powells. They are the largest book source in New York and they have a good selection of 'out of print' books. Click here for Powells.
This link brings you to a list of 600 Irish titles; if you're looking for something else, just Search.
• Third: Still can't find It? Alright, try ALibris they are the place for 'books you never thought you'd find'. We've found everything we were after. Click here for ALibris.
• Last: Nothing Worked?
E-Mail us, we'll give it a go. Click for Russ & Bridget.

1000 Years of Irish Poetry: The Gaelic and Anglo Irish Poets from Pagan Times to the Present
by Kathleen Hoagland

Interested in Irish Poetry?Here's the easy way to collect them all (well, almost all, anyway).
Malachy McCourt says in his introduction, "With the republication of this book, the Irish recover under their roof of stars all the great poets and writers who have been falsely claimed by the saxon crown and its minions - even our reprobates."
Amazon states this is out of stock. They still have used copies for almost nothing (except shipping - chuckle). If you would like a new edition, it was available at Powell's. We can't promise it's still there. Click here for Powell's 1000 Years.
Click here for used at Amazon.


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