Selected Poems

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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

‘We find in this Selected Poems a poet confidently charting a life, salvaging meaning and some daily celebration worth observance. . . These selections, carefully curated, show a poet attuned and in tune to the sound of his own footsteps, the impulse of his own existence, of those close to him in the domestic realm, of the poets and authors he is reading from across the ages, of neighbours ––whether the shopkeeper in Listowel or the neighbour in Manchester, or even, as alluded to earlier, to the ghost who inhabited the space he now finds himself in.
And when our every step, every turn of the wheel, has become overwhelmed by a tsunami of information, of noise, of distraction, the poet must ask, after the fashion of Heaney, how can you enjoy the quiet life, when all around you is in tumult? And we find McAuliffe needing to be selective in where his gaze falls, what line his pen follows. And while noting the coming storm, keeping an eye just a few steps ahead may be the saving grace as poet and reader keep moving onward’. — Keith Payne, Dublin Review of Books

McAuliffe Selected Poems Preview

Publication Date: 1 October 2021
Details: 168pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 91133 818 5
ISBN HBK: 978 1 91133 819 2

Cover: ‘L’Enfant au pâté de sable’ by Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) 1894-1895 Peint au “Clos”, Le Grand Lemps (Isère) RF1982-69 Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

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