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Irish Poetry

Eilean Ni Chuilleanain - The Sun-fish (cloth)

Griffin Poetry Prize Judges’ Citation

“This beguiling poet opens many doors onto multiple worlds. From the outset, with the startling imagery of ‘The Witch in the Wardrobe’ – a ‘fluent pantry’, where ‘the silk scarves came flying at her face like a car wash’ – we are in a shifting realm, both real and otherworldly. The effect of her impressionistic style is like watching a photograph as it develops. The Sun-fish contains approaches to family and political history, thwarted pilgrimages in which Ní Chuilleanáin poses many questions – not always directly – and often chooses to leave the questions themselves unresolved, allowing them to resonate meaningfully past the actual poem’s end. She is a truly imaginative poet, whose imagination is authoritative and transformative. She leads us into altered or emptied landscapes, such as that in ‘The Polio Epidemic,’ when children were kept indoors, but the poet escapes on a bicycle ‘I sliced through miles of air/free as a plague angel descending/On places buses went …’ Each poem is a world complete, and often they move between worlds, as in the beautiful ‘A Bridge between Two Counties.’ These are potent poems, with dense, captivating sound and a certain magic that proves not only to be believable but necessary, in fact, to our understanding of the world around us.”

Also available in paperback, $12.95
 

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