Three new poetry titles by Derek Mahon, Vona Groarke and John McAuliffe have just been published by The Gallery Press.
The Poems (1961-2020) by Derek Mahon which comprises, in their final form, all the poems Derek Mahon wished to preserve. It includes recognized masterpieces, the early ‘Afterlives’ and ‘A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford’, two extended sequences, ‘New York Time’ and ‘Decadence’, meditations such as ‘Harbour Lights’ and ‘Dreams of a Summer Night’, the heartrending ‘Monochrome’ and his windfall collections, Against the Clock and Washing Up, the latter completed in the weeks before his death last year.
The book records, with formal panache and imaginative sweep, his native province’s ‘Troubles’, his personal travails and urgent concerns for the health of our planet. At once classical and current, these poems speak to their moments. The book culminates in ‘the serenity / which for a lifetime had eluded’ him. The Poems (1961-2020)is a grand occasion in contemporary literature and its contents are models of their art. This is a book for the ages.
Link: Poet and World by Vona Groarke. When pandemic and crisis are the way of the world what’s a poet to do: engage in a combative full lock, or trust the personal to throw light on the public, so something slips between? Vona Groarke‘s Link: Poet and World explores the give-and-take between the contemporary lyric and our strangely troubled times. Twenty-six poems and their answering prose pieces (featuring the characters of Poet and World) consider how the news frames a poem, telling its home truths. Spiky, tender and funny, Link: Poet and World offers a new kind of poetry book, as enjoyable as it is daring, as crafty as it is skilled.
‘Poems that . . . are vital buffers against the many storms outside.’
— Los Angeles Review of Books
Selected Poems by John McAuliffe. Over twenty years John McAuliffe’s five books have given his readers a great abundance. In their ‘parallel universes’ his poems chart the domestic weather and undercurrents of modern life, return to the river of his home town, report on the streets of the city he works in and the wider world. His poems compress feeling and occasion into something like song, in lyrics, narratives, translations and ballads, treating travel, friendship, the lives of writers and political figures, ancient history and the recent past, parenthood and childhood, all with the freshly-made texture of worlds suddenly coming to life as we read them. Selected Poems shows for the first time the range of ‘one of the most gifted and versatile poets of his generation’ (Poetry Book Society).
McAuliffe’s gift is to be mindful of elsewheres. He swerves to effect: his shrewd sideways and backwards glances count, pouring light on a subject from several directions simultaneously. Any given moment is likely to be underpinned by what went on before or what is to come. He knows the power of parallel universes. — Kate Kellaway, The Observer