I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Brendan Lowe

The Valley of Tears

Comfort and security are illusory in Frank McGuinness’s new poetry collection. They are always weighed down by the fears that are kept to hand. In ‘A Dream About My Father’, the dream is of the father’s death. Comfort, community, family all collapse and vanish.

The Long Note

The opening poem in Paddy Bushe’s new collection gives a sense of an art emerging from a relationship with the natural processes occurring constantly in a particular place, processes which transcend time, while the music played is a different phenomenon from the songs ringing in the New Year down in the village.

Unwoven

A sonnet sequence by the poet Micheal O’Siadhail traces his experiences over the two-year period which culminated in his wife’s death from a terrible disease which makes war on human dignity.

Held By The Roots

Gerard Smyth is a poet strongly associated with his native Dublin, and in particular with the period of his childhood and youth. His new collection is marked by an impulse to record, with piety and fidelity. The tone is elegiac, yet the poems are still open to the new and exotic

Earth’s Old Bones

John Keats championed the truth of imagination, while the naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt was the first to see nature as a unified organism. Moya Cannon invites both to tea. It’s an edgy business. She serves them in separate rooms and spends more time with Keats.