A study of the idea of domestic space in Northern Irish poetry offers fresh perspectives on poems long in the public eye, finding new meaning in key works by Heaney, Longley, Mahon and McGuckian. One of its great virtues is its perfectly tuned affinity with the poets it deals with.
The Past Remains
Visitors to Ukrainian Lviv, once Polish Lwów, once Austro-Hungarian Lemberg, will find that while cultures and peoples and languages can be overwritten by others, often violently, they may reappear years later, to stand as evidence to the fact that complete erasure is never possible.
The Truth and Colonel McGrath
By the closing stages of World War Two, the Germans had assembled a substantial number of hostages, ranging from Allied army intelligence officers to rebels against Nazism, to politicians from defeated countries or former allies. Among them was an Irishman from Co Roscommon.
A Necessary Restitution
The English poets of the 1940s, sandwiched between Auden, Spender, MacNeice and the main poets of the 1930s and the later development of ‘the Movement’, tend to be overlooked today. The publication of a collected poems of one important figure, Terence Tiller, is very welcome.
A companion volume to Sinéad Gleeson’s ‘The Long Gaze Back’ charts the unique tradition of short fiction by women from the North of Ireland. Gleeson traces its historical arc from the turn of the century to the present and includes fifteen new stories by contemporary authors.
A Postmodern Disease
Up to 1 per cent of the population may have coeliac disease but many more have self-diagnosed themselves as gluten-sensitive. Is gluten sensitivity based on any scientific evidence or is it the product of a misalliance between academic medicine and commerce?
The New Souperism
Irish parents are often forced to have their children participate in a form of religious observance in which they themselves do not believe in exchange for educational and social benefits. We once called this souperism. And the current shabby compromise designed to confuse the unwary could best be described as souperism lite.
The Backward Look
The Russians, according to Svetlana Alexievich, are a people of misfortune and suffering whose best moments have come with war. Following the failed experiment to drive an entire nation ‘with an iron hand to happiness’, the people no longer have the culture of happiness or the taste for a joyful life.
Claims that the European Commission is picking on little Ireland in the Apple taxation case fail to take into account that we are talking about the richest company in the world. Ireland will also ignore at its peril the rising tide of popular indignation over wholesale tax avoidance by multinationals.
Into Their Own
A substantial bilingual English-Irish anthology that breaks new ground with its critical survey of modern Irish poetry takes up where Seán Ó Tuama and Thomas Kinsella left off with their pioneering 1981 selection ‘An Dunaire 1600-1900: Poems of the Dispossessed’.