We’re delighted to announce four new titles from The Gallery Press which will be published this month.

New titles from The Gallery Press include two new poetry collections: one a debut collection from Molly Twomey, Raised Among Vultures; the other from established poet, Seán Lysaght, New Leaf; Derek Mahon’s collected translations, The Adaptations (1975-2020) and a long suppressed Brian Friel play, The Mundy Scheme.

 

Cover Raised Among VulturesRaised Among Vultures – Molly Twomey

Look, if we are going to do this,
know that I was raised among vultures.

— ‘Don’t pick me tulips’

Such bold injunctions announce a formidable new talent. In Molly Twomey’s spectacular, and frequently disturbing, debut seemingly nonchalant expressions of hard experience (‘Over coffee I tell you I slept with some guy’) meld with vivid imaginings. Excited hearts are ‘bumper cars’, a Coke is ‘a huge cup of starless sky’ and a radish is ‘a red grenade’. In this world of Tumblr, online group therapy, NA and Touch ID, Molly Twomey’s unflinching art chronicles a history of eating disorders and inner conflicts. These are frontline reports from the outposts of youth, ‘nights / spent drunk with boys we could barely remember, / would never forget.’ But Raised Among Vultures, while venturing that ‘It’s impossible to live without breaking someone’, is also a book about longing and lessons — ‘It took so long to learn that I won’t die / if I sleep in.’ In her first collection Molly Twomey breathes new life into Irish poetry.

Molly Twomey grew up in Lismore, County Waterford, and graduated in 2019 with an MA in Creative Writing from University College Cork where she now works as a Library Assistant. She has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, The Irish Times, Mslexia and The Stinging Fly. She has been chosen for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions series and was recently awarded an Arts Council Literature Bursary.

 

Cover - New LeafNew Leaf – Seán Lysaght

In New Leaf, a celebratory collection by Seán Lysaght, we find a poet querying the limits of his adopted place with new experiences, either through the literal displacement of travel or in changing patterns of friendship and affection. The author’s distinctive recordings of the natural world are abundantly clear — ‘Willow warbler still wavers / down the ladder of summer / on its song, my anthem.’ But from ‘Bog Song’, ‘Brockagh’ (‘badger wood’) and Inishmaan, through a Tuscan sketchbook to Abu Dhabi, cultural contrasts assert themselves — there is ‘mall music to soothe a distracted soul’ and ‘signatures of thrift and making do / before oil revenues changed the Emirates’. The voice of these poems is realized in suitably shifting modes of utterance so that a given life becomes at times almost allegorical. Seán Lysaght’s lightness of touch combines with a delicately tuned note of self-questioning to make New Leaf a book of mature assurance.

Seán Lysaght
was born in 1957, grew up in Limerick and now lives in Westport. He taught for many years at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. His prose publications include Robert Lloyd Praeger: The Life of a Naturalist, Eagle Country and Wild Nephin. The Gallery Press publishes Venetian Epigrams, translations from Goethe (2008),  and six collections of poems.Selected Poems appeared in 2010. He received the 2007 O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry.

 

The Adaptations (1975-2020) – Derek Mahon

The Adaptations (1975-2020)follows the much heralded The Poems (1961-2020) and continues The Gallery Press’s ‘Mahon project’ of putting in print and on the record all of the work thatDerek Mahon wished to preserve, in this instance his versions of poems from other languages and cultures. An amplification of Echo’s Grove (2013), whose Foreword appears here as an Afterword, it includes more recently published translations (Aristophanes, Goethe, Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine and Bertolt Brecht) as well as previously unpublished work (Goethe, Jules Laforgue, Guillaume Apollinaire and ‘Gopal Singh’). It demonstrates the broad church of Derek Mahon’s interests and thinking and a master poet’s engagement over almost half a century with literatures of the world.

Derek Mahon
was born in Belfast in 1941. He received numerous awards including the Irish Academy of Letters Award, the Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a ‘Lifetime’s Achievement’. The Gallery Press also publishesTheatre (2013), New Selected Poems (2016), Against the Clock(2018) which received the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, Washing Up (2020), Autumn Skies (Writers on poems by Derek Mahon) and The Poems (1961-2020), both 2021. The Prose will be published in 2023. Derek Mahon died at home in Kinsale, County Cork, in October 2020.

 

The Mundy Scheme – Brian Friel

Fifty years after it has won its independence Ireland is on its knees. The government is hanging by a thread, the Taoiseach is working from home, the Minister for Finance returns from Switzerland empty handed and, after he’s gone missing, the Minister for External Affairs appears with a scheme that will save the country. He has secured the commitment of a Texan businessman to purchase tracts of the West of Ireland to be sold as the final resting place for sentimental Irish people living abroad. The modest proposal of Brian Friel’s hilarious and scathing satire prompts wheeling, dealing and double dealing as control succumbs to corruption. The salvation of Ireland is immediately beset by hunger for personal profit. The Mundy Scheme, a long suppressed drama and a precursor of The Communication Cord, is too readily recognizable more than forty years after its first production.

 

Brian Friel was born in Omagh, County Tyrone, in 1929 and died in County Donegal on 2 October 2015. He is the author ofPhiladelphia, Here I Come!, Translations, and Dancing at Lughnasa. Other publications from The Gallery Press includeAristocrats, The Communication Cord, The Freedom of the City, Hedda Gabler (after Ibsen), The Home Place, Molly Sweeney, Selected Stories, Three Sisters (after Chekhov), Wonderful Tennessee, and Fathers and Sons and A Month in the Country(both after Turgenev). His Collected Plays (in five volumes) were published in 2016.
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