What a wonderful event we had recently for the launch of two debut poetry collections — John FitzGerald’s The Time Being and Audrey Molloy’s The Important Things. It was superbly hosted by Vona Groarke who asked both poets some very insightful questions. Watch the recorded launch readings.
Clarity in vision, thought and language, distinguishes The Time Being, John FitzGerald’s first collection. With poems that explore place and memory, family, relationships and the natural world, John FitzGerald establishes a potent empathy with his reader through a watchful, precise poetry. Some poems enact themselves through their linguistic physicality and rootedness in place. Others search deeper for what it means to be alive and alert in the world today. Moments from America, Iceland and China are set among experiences of the land and countryside around the poet’s home in rural Ireland. All are revelations of one sort or another, their controlled energy producing a drama that is at once private and universal. Delighting in setting, language and form, The Time Being marks the arrival of a distinctive presence in Irish poetry.
‘I blame Madonna’ is the arresting opening of one of the poems in Audrey Molloy’s remarkable and distinctive first collection, The Important Things. In an unusual display of different forms, the book resounds with echoes of other writers but is the work of a true original. From ‘What We Learned at Loreto’ to ‘Lockdown Boogie’ it explores the surreal, the dreamt and the down-to-earth everyday in images laced with humour, science and sex. It chronicles the end of a marriage and the discovery of new love and renewed passion. ‘Know you tried’ concludes the book’s opening section. Its second part comprises a sequence of poems that mourn her mother, savour memories and rue missed opportunities. The Important Things is a woman’s tale reported in feisty, sensual and beautiful poetry.