With a sharp eye for the unusual, pitch perfect language and strong end lines, [The Limit of Light] is an impressive debut.
— Iggy McGovern, Dublin Review of Books
Grace Wilentz was born in New York City and grew up in Greenwich Village. A graduate of Harvard University, with postgraduate degrees from Oxford University and University College Dublin, she has published poems in The American Poetry Journal, Cyphers, The Harvard Advocate, The Irish Times and The Seneca Review. She moved to Ireland in 2005 to study the Irish language and became an Irish citizen in 2015.
Grace’s first collection, The Limit of Light, was published by The Gallery Press in October 2020 and went on to be named one of the best books of the year in The Irish Independent and The Irish Times. In 2019 she published a chapbook, Holding Distance, and received a bursary from The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. In 2021 she received the Arts Council’s Next Generation Award for poetry. Grace has taught Creative Writing at UCD and now lives in The Liberties of Dublin.
The Limit of Light
‘Picture the world without you in it’ — the opening line of Grace Wilentz’s engaging first collection illustrates the imaginative range of her poetry. The book is a record of experience, a widely lived life. There are poems set in her native New York City, in the Everglades, in Morocco, in the Anasazi villages of the American West and in her adopted country, Ireland. There are poems in the voice of her mother undergoing treatment for cancer and others that explore her Jewish heritage. Her succinctness of thought and her epiphanies are evident in ‘In this desert landscape / there is little enough to measure yourself by’ and ‘children are always / at the mercy / of the deal’. In her style and subject matter Grace Wilentz broadens the reach of recent Irish poetry.