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.

Gerard Smyth

Mission Accomplished

The thinking behind Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s working practice

The Procrustean Bed

Since her remarkable debut, ‘The Heel of Bernadette’, Colette Bryce has shown both variation and range in her work, developing a distinctive poetic personality that places her outside of and beyond the ‘Northern thing’.

In Tune

Many of Moya Cannon’s poems relate to music and song. But more than that, when these, as they so often do, become the subject, the relationship between poet and her material deepens and the content lights up with increased wattage.

High Jinks and Down to Earth

A poetry collection by broadcaster John Kelly is flush with acute observation and understanding, as well as sparkling felicities of imaginative detail and linguistic invention. The references range from popular culture to the natural world, with the poems marked by both gravity and wit.

Gazing Heavenwards

The challenge in our secular age for a poet engaging with the spiritual and religious is how to sound the authentic note. To this end James Harpur fetches images from the religious art and symbolism of the past, renewing and refreshing them in his language of ‘pure clear words’.

Cut and Catch

While Tom French moves much further afield in several of the poems in his new collection, enlarging his range and what might be called his world view, it is to localism and ‘the small things of the day’ that he mostly stays true and which are the fruitful source of so much of his work.

The Call of the Fields

Francis Ledwidge was a poet who went to war, but he did not become a war poet in the normal sense. Mostly he adhered to his natural terrain - rapture before nature - and the fixities of home in what he wrote in surroundings of horrendous conflict, remaining content to imaginatively ‘walk the old frequented ways’ of his memories of his native Co Meath.

When All Our Gold Was Gorse

Thomas McCarthy, as poet and thinker, is a defender of the past against the more crass aspects of modernity. He speaks from a wise understanding of the Ireland that has evolved from de Valera’s country of long summers to one where we try to read the runes from Berlin or Brussels.

Watching the Moods

Coming just a few years after his ‘Collected Poems’, Macdara Woods’s new collection demonstrates the progression towards a lifelong unitary project; poem adds to poem, book to book. Because of that consistency poems from forty years ago still wear well.

The City As Hero

If there is a ‘larger than life’ character in Lia Mills’s novel ‘Fallen' it is the city of Dublin itself, whose street names are evoked with a Joycean reverence. This makes it a peculiarly appropriate choice to be chosen as this year’s One City, One Book