Vona Groarke

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Vona Groarke’s third collection of poems, Flight (2002), appeared three years after the publication of the hugely acclaimed Other People’s Houses (1999). This publication confirmed the ‘major talent’ hailed in Volume IV of the Field Day Anthology.

Flight features three substantial poems that received important prizes. Two of those poems are remarkable for the manner in which the poet envisages landmark moments in Irish history with insight and wit. ‘The Way It Goes’, which won the inaugural Strokestown Poetry Prize (1999), weaves a narrative out of the Famine that is as beautiful as it is oblique. ‘Imperial Measure’, which won the inaugural Davoren Hanna Prize (2001), reconstructs the 1916 Rising from the extraordinary angle of food.

Also included is ‘Or To Come’, which won the Stand Magazine International Poetry Prize (2000) and which meditates on the troubled subjects of death and the passage of time. Other poems take on Elvis Presley, online catalogues, a teenage exchange to Brittany and the pleasures and tensions of erotic love. Flight marks a deepening of Vona Groarke’s exceptional talent.


. . . a writer of exceptional cognitive and emotional originality. She is certainly among the most gifted of the younger Irish poets . . .

— Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, The Sunday Tribune

The obvious spirit of exhilaration in which these poems have been created is matched by excitement in the reader at encountering a voice that has come entirely into its own.

— Sinead Morrissey, Metre

Groarke’s poems often have an air of simplicity . . . but their grounded, private acuteness, their silent insistence on discovering their own methods, makes them subtler and more complex.

— Brian Philips, Poetry

Year Published: 2002
Details: 80pp
ISBN HBK: 978 1 85235 309 4
ISBN ebook: 978 1 91133 717 1