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Shallow Seas


‘I feel ripped open,’ Justin Quinn remarks in one of the poems in his new collection. A man in middle age may be a wreck, but before he turns into dust he may find ways to let the weirdnesses and passions of the world course through him. The poems in Shallow Seas celebrate intimacy both of rock and of flesh as Justin Quinn riffs through geological time and sexual intensity. In their characteristically adroit formal patterns, they address historical and immediately contemporary situations. Their author talks with ghosts and they talk back. Another poem asks, ‘What will the earth do with us?’ The author sings some answers.

The years go by in millions in The Metals, the last poem in Justin Quinn's Shallow Seas (Gallery, €11.95). His title comes from this fine poem, a meditation on the Dublin coastline, but European forests dominate the collection. Iambic pentameter and a recurring deer motif bring Wyatt to mind. There is a sense of Dante too but if Quinn is lost, he's revelling in being astray in history, among the trees and wild flowers. — Martina Evans, The Irish Times

Publication date: September 2020
Details: 80pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 91133 795 9
ISBN HBK: 978 1 91133 796 6

Cover: ‘Green-52-Lednice’ (2015) by Stéphane Corbet

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