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The Time Being


Clarity in vision, thought and language, distinguishes The Time Being, John FitzGerald's first collection. With poems that explore place and memory, family, relationships and the natural world, John FitzGerald establishes a potent empathy with his reader through a watchful, precise poetry. Some poems enact themselves through their linguistic physicality and rootedness in place. Others search deeper for what it means to be alive and alert in the world today. Moments from America, Iceland and China are set among experiences of the land and countryside around the poet’s home in rural Ireland. All are revelations of one sort or another, their controlled energy producing a drama that is at once private and universal. Delighting in setting, language and form, The Time Being marks the arrival of a distinctive presence in Irish poetry.

                                  . . . and I wonder 
if my real purpose in returning here 
has been to make good the past,
ensure that someone gets it right this time . . .
— ‘Seeing Clear’

John FitzGerald was born in Cork in 1962. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2014 and was shortlisted for a Hennessy Award in 2015. A chapbook, First Cut, appeared in 2017, followed by Darklight, a limited edition, in 2019. A recipient of a Key West Literary Bursary, he has lived in Dublin, London and Florence, and since 1995 has worked as University Librarian at University College Cork. He lives with his family on their farm in Carrigdarrery, County Cork.

The Time Being Title Page

Publication date: 24 June 2021
Details: 64pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 91133 808 6
ISBN HBK: 978 1 91133 809 3

Cover: ‘Bird Still Life’ (1973) by Patrick Hennessy from the UCC Art Collection © Royal Hibernian Academy


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