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We’re delighted to announce the publication of the following new titles in May 2024:

Of Shards and TattersOf Shards and Tatters - Eamon Grennan by Eamon Grennan
For more than forty years Eamon Grennan’s poems have been applauded for the carefulness with which they pay attention. In recent years a new generation of writers and readers has embraced his luminous art which is clearly seen in Of Shards and Tatters.
A central theme in this collection is memory and its fragility. As the author’s mind begins to lose its steadiness he retrieves moments of wonder from childhood and fixes them for us. His characteristic long, sinuous sentences, with words and sounds yoked together, build an elegy for Tim Robinson, reconstruct the discovery of his dead father and pour out anguished mourning for a belovèd brother while celebrating an anniversary with his partner and the ordinary joys of family life.
He captures exactly the day-to-day experience of Covid’s isolation and its impact on social interaction. Through a prolonged winter he acknowledges ‘proper responsible distance’ and the value of text, phone call and Zoom. As memorable as it is moving, Of Shards and Tatters is a book of assent and persistence by an enduring spirit, intent on and glorying in ‘simple survival’.

DevotionDevotion by Mícheál McCann by Mícheál McCann
At the heart of Mícheál McCann’s eagerly awaited first collection is ‘Keen for A— ’, a re-imagining of Eileen O’Connell’s heartrending Lament for Art O’Leary. In Devotion the poet transports the original tragedy in time and place. Echoing the 18th-century Irish, it lives now in contemporary Belfast where a young man’s male lover is murdered. The sequence charts from premonition, in filmic scenes, the first encounter, the news, denial, rage (and an oath of vengeance) to the funeral and A—’s family’s chilling silence afterwards. Other poems range from memories of childhood and relationships with parents to the author’s own imaginary child. There is a wry poem on animal homosexuality, others on sea swimming and the satisfactions of a shared meal, while an elegiac poem recreates the final joy of an RUC Constable in a gay bar before he’s shot by a member of the INLA.
For all the solemnity of its subject matter love poems leaven its atmosphere as Mícheál McCann’s debut glows with the sense of someone who knows he has ‘discovered the name of his destination’.

American AnthemAmerican Anthem - Kelly Michels by Kelly Michels
‘After spending a week sleeping on the floor / of a crack house she comes home dragging / a heap of bones.’ So begins Kelly Michels’ sometimes shocking debut as the author remembers observing her mother. Blending lyric and narrative modes the dominant strands of American Anthem focus on the tragedies, both personal and national, of the opioid epidemic and its devastating effects of addiction and of gun violence in America where the author grew up.
Drawing on personal experience, in the books centrepiece, a tour de force addressed to the writer’s younger sister, the repeated, repercussive ‘How do I tell her?’ allows us to overhear the harrowing details of an assault by a rapist. Other poems respond to a mass shooting in her home neighbourhood. This is an urgent, necessary book, a severe indictment of the mammoth pharmaceutical companies and of the merchants and pro-ponents of arms. Kelly Michels has heeded Robert Lowell’s injunction to ‘say what happened’ and her report is fashioned in a series of remarkable poems.
    American Anthem proclaims a new voice in Irish poetry. It is an outstanding, bold and brave first collection.



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