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Irish Poetry

Harry Clifton - Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004 (paperback)

Winner of the 2008 Irish Times Poetry Now Award

In choosing Secular Eden as the winner, the judges described the book as "the achievement of several years' work ... with great profundity to the poems in how they explored ideas ... and a real sense of vocation in the collection."

"[T]he book [is] ...solid as bone. This solidity is a product of Clifton's formal discipline and of the deliberateness of his thought. ... The poems' daring lies almost entirely in their philosophical direction, in their approach to the problem of living in a postmodern age, in their stubborn refusal to fudge their answers. Secular Eden sets sail for elusive destinations, conscious of its own gravity, more ship than plane, more submarine than ship. When it detonates its charges, it is often as if under water, swelling gradual waves." Alissa Valles, Boston Review

"His dazzlingly accomplished book is arguably the first great work of Irish poetic post-modernism. ... " Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times

"He is home now, one of the most respected Irish poets. ... Secular Eden should win his work the attention it deserves." Derek Mahon, London Times Literary Supplement 


2007   206 pages
First edition
ISBN 978-1-930630-36-9

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