Skip to main content

New Irish Poetry

Just a snippet of news in the form of my review of Barbara Smith's Kairos and Fred Johnston's The Oracle Room appearing on Eyewear.

Comments

Unknown said…
Hey Ben, I read the review (with great nervousness!) and was interested in your take on Kairos - many thanks. All points of view noted.

How's the MA coming along? I'm finding the one in Belfast is really making me think far more critically about my own work and developing poetry at a much faster pace than I might have on my own bat. Some mighty fine poets up there as well!
Ben Wilkinson said…
Hi Barbara,

I'm glad you found my review interesting. I did enjoy Kairos, and I hope this comes across in my appraisal of the book. At the end of the day, they're just my humble opinions of course. But I do hope you found my perspective useful.

As for the MA, it's really great to be studying poetry with Maurice Riordan. As you say, I'm finding my poetry seems to be developing quite quickly, and I'm finding it easier to be braver in my approach and not stick so much to the old tried and tested tropes. Always good to try new things. And of course, it's also encouraging to be in a class with so many able, but also stylistically varied and differing writers. Who teaches on your MA?

Oh, and before I forget, glad to hear that copies of Kairos are selling fast :)

best,

B

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION
Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse


Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…

Way More Than Luck: 27.2.18 - the launch

Louis MacNeice

‘World is crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural’. Even if you’re not that well-versed in modern British and Irish poetry, chances are you’ll still know ‘Snow’, or a line or two from the poem will seem naggingly familiar. While still in his twenties, Louis MacNeice wrote it in 1935, and since then, it’s been a favourite with readers, writers and editors, cropping up in every kind of poetry anthology.

Weird, then, that MacNeice’s work has often been seen as a footnote to that of his illustrious pal W.H. Auden, when he’s so clearly a hugely original poet in his own right. And when, among more recent generations, the likes of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Don Paterson and Conor O’Callaghan have all cited him as a major influence in their own writing. It’s not like ‘Snow’ was a one hit wonder, either. Despite some of the less exciting – and often lengthy – stuff he wrote in the early 50s, MacNeice only got better, perfecting his moving, atmospheric and pow…