Louis Mulcahy is a master ceramic sculptor, and his poetry too focuses very closely on this art and craft. He wants us to understand the detail behind the obsession as well, and there are hints of regret over what it has cost him in terms of absence from the lives of others.
The collected reports of a former Irish correspondent for British media depict a country that is notably less prosperous than it is today but one in which it seems there was always time to talk. Many things have changed since, and some, like rural depopulation, have not.
For a writer who says she writes poetry as an aside, Anne Haverty sure packs it in; her journey takes us on a coruscating ride, tumbling with deftness, humour, irony and precision through history and Eastern Europe, with poems about vodka, life, love –and back to earth with a bump in Tipperary.
A new anthology of children’s literature in Irish asks what we can learn from a study of this field on the experience of childhood in Ireland. Secondly it asks if there are any distinctive aspects of childhood to be discerned from this study that are different from those to be found in English language literature.
Maureen Boyle gives us portraits and poems of our social history, the most democratic of histories, showing us yet again –and yes, it needs to be repeated, especially to the Minister for Education – the importance of history and how it offers among so much else, a perspective, empathy and a future.
As with the Easter Rising, there was in the early modern period more than one vision in play of Ireland’s destiny. Walter Quin, born in Dublin about 1575, was to die in 1640 “an ancient servant to the Royal family” – but in his case the royal family meant the Stuarts rather than the Habsburgs or Borghese, with whom O’Neill had lodged Ireland’s hopes.