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.

Thomas McCarthy

For the Desert Air

Was Ethna MacCarthy intimidated by brilliant male friends? Or was she, as an haut bourgeois Catholic, simply too well brought-up to follow her own literary ambition in this rollicking tide of masculinities? The posthumous publication of her verse shows how much we have been missing.

Saturated with Light

Another perfect volume from Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, the poet of sunlight and cloisters. The collection is a joy to read, and a reminder, yet again, that poets are sent to amaze us, to bring us all nearer to the light.

The Bears and the Bees

Paula Meehan is an inspiring presence, the most important thinking poet of her generation. Still, it must be said that there are rogues and ruffians among poets too, persons of such low moral character that a blackthorn stick might as well be found in their hands as a pen.

Echoes from the Cistern

There is nothing tentative, or merely suggestive, in Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s new collection. Her academic training is outraged by vagueness, so that the poems grab a firm hold of their subject-matter; the work is pre-meditated, never a pen shuffling in the hope of inspiration.

Sharp words from elsewhere

Like a cranky uncle who has spent too long in the tropics, Harry Clifton has thrown insults at every poet-cousin he has read, yet his own verse seems to know more and to be wiser than his often ill-advised urges to lecture others on what they are doing wrong might suggest.