2011 poetry news, and online information for poets.

Given that the Irish Times Books of the Year did not make mention of poetry books for 2011, I thought to add some links to Irish poetry  presses and imprints for those readers of poetry who are not catered for in the list-system. I have to say that I do not think of such ephemera as dates when I approach a book of poetry and my reading included some 2010 volumes (and earlier).  The beauty of poetry is that it is timeless and  poetry books are always relevant. I am going to add links for some poetry publishers, and then some good online resources for readers and writers of poetry. I wonder how many of the books at link will survive the test of time ? (or even taste,  ” So good, so funny, so real, so very, very sad” , is what amounts to review in the article).

Irish presses and poetry journals.

I can add to this list Poetry Ireland , The SHOp Magazine , Moth (Little Editions) , Post (DCU) , Crannóg , Burning Bush , The Munster Literature Centre ( and SouthWord), The Western Writers Centre, Over the Edge, Tigh Filí , and The Irish Writer’s Centre . Online Poetry concerns include Writing.ie , Emerging Writer , Wurm in Apfel , Nuala Ní Chonchúir, and all of the above mentioned presses that use online as a source of income and connection for writers.

2011 bits and pieces.

I reviewed a few books this year and I have blogged these over the past twelve months, I liked Jeet Thayil‘s edition of Contemporary Indian Poetry and told him too, The moth magazine ‘Little Editions’  , Susan Lindsay’s ‘Whispering the Secrets, John Walsh’s ‘Chopping Wood with T.S Eliot, Human Chain by Seamus Heaney. I intend to get Memorial, by Alice Oswald and I  will probably blog that too. AND this year 2011, I published some almost lost Doris Lessing Poems Here , in all a wonderful poetic year for me as a reader and writer.

This year saw the cutting of funds to Poetry Now ! and barely a whisper of protest in the media, and there was some controversy at the T.S Eliot Prize . My  favourite story of the year had to be the restoration of  Sue Hubbard’s ‘Eurydice’.  The fourth annual Turn at Tara occurred, although some newspapers would rather not look at the wound created by rampant planning unbalanced by a single heritage and conservation bill in over a decade!  Poetry happens in the most wonderful places , although these places are generally  not full of  literary liggers. Two wonderful editors had a spat, although Irish media coverage of same was void ,empty. I really do wonder if poetry loses importance due to the glitter and tinsel of PR management, and souped-up interest in disposable tales (the type that makes it to the charity-shops within  three-four week periods of publication and sells for 1-2 Euros ?).

As is usual , I have to say that good poetry discussion occurs at  Jacket2, UBUWEB, The Poetry Foundation , Salt , Anon. Pierre Joris’  Nomadics is an interesting site for those interested in translation and outsider poetics.

Other newspapers have published poetry lists for 2011.

‘A Work for Poets’ by George Mackay Brown.

To have carved on the days of our vanity
A sun
A star
A cornstalk
Also a few marks
From an ancient forgotten time
A child may read
That not far from the stone
A well
Might open for wayfarers
Here is a work for poets –
Carve the runes
Then be content with silence.

by George Mackay Brown


Lux Perpetua.

A star for a cradle
Sun for plough and net
A fire for old stories
A candle for the dead.

Lux perpetua
By such glimmers we seek you.

I have two reading recommendations this sunny cold morning in Dublin,  Interrogation of SilenceThe  writings of George Mackay Brown Rowena and Brian Murray. Publ. John Murray 2004. The Absence of Myth , by Georges Bataille Publ. Version (1994/2006).


I am sad to hear the John Hurst, proprietor of Rare and Interesting Books in Westport died this past weekend, he always got the exact book that I sought and I had put him alongside Charlie Byrne’s In Galway for his excellent  collection of books. Indeed I had been re-reading a certain book this weekend that I had bought from him in the last years, RIP.

For those readers interested in  George Mackay Brown , I include here the GMB website , along with a link to a  short Poethead post on John’s lovely bookshop in Mayo.

Reality Check, by Dennis O Driscoll

from , Skywriting , by Dennis O Driscoll

” Reiterating whatever claim it makes,
A sotto voce repetition , rain plays out
a reverie-inducing music on the glass
harmonica of the kitchen’s window pane.
But peeling open the back  door
for a rain check , you hear the liquid
swishing grow insistent as a whip;
sibiliant drips insinuate their way
between tightly packed leaves which,
gorging on these waters , never
quite reach saturation point.
hard to imagine that sweetness
and light might yet triumph,
a freshly perfumed day resurface,
put on airs of mellowness,
a rose-tinted sun assume the contours
of a mountain range , your gable wall. “

by Dennis O Driscoll

‘Reality Check’ , by Dennis O Driscoll

Dennis O Driscoll , ‘Reality Check’. Publ Anvil Press 2007.

Archives, Books, and a note on a renaissance for literary magazines.

In 2009 the Archives of Cologne collapsed , Speigel English reported it as ‘History in Ruins, Archive Collapse Disaster for Historians‘. It always interests me as a sometime collector of letters, books and such ephemera that Governments often do not prioritise our history in a manner that will benefit future students of culture and politics.

Yesterday morning there were reports of an ongoing dispute between French Archivists and the Government of Nicholas Sarkozy , or rather , more specifically Nicholas Sarkozy’s Legacy Museum Project, which is centred in the National Archives in Paris :

” It’s one of the grandest palaces in central Paris, housing treasured national documents from Napoleon’s will to the rules of tennis. But behind a makeshift barricade of box-files and banners, staff are camping out in sleeping bags, as France’s National Archives become the frontline in the biggest cultural revolt of Nicolas Sarkozy‘s leadership.

Historians are rising up against the president’s grandiose plans to immortalise himself by founding a national history museum in his own image. Just as François Mitterrand built the Louvre pyramid and Georges Pompidou lent his name to the landmark modern art museum, Sarkozy is searching for his own cultural legacy. But his planned museum, with its emphasis on “national identity”, has been attacked by academics as a dangerous, nationalistic attempt to pervert history for his own  ideological purposes.”

(Guardian report 10/11/2010)

The questions really have to be grounded in how Governments see their role in preserving the past ?

(i). Do they protect the buildings which house archives from problems such as runaway development and gentrification ?

(ii). Are there adequate disaster management plans in place that are planned and strategised at governmental /departmental levels ?

(iii). Is Governmental funding for the provision of adequate storage and climate-control infrastructure a priority in terms of paper/data archival storage ?

In terms of good news today , UCD celebrates the launch of the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive ( IVRLA ). I am adding in a paragraph about the launch and a link to the Press release:

” The Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA) digital repository draws on UCD’s extensive archival resources, allowing this material to be accessed in a digitised format from a single virtual location. The IVRLA presents 32 curated collections as well as a series of 17 research projects which demonstrate the research potential of this major digital repository.”

( from Library.ie)

There are ongoing problems with our National Library storage , including its dependence on Dáil Éireann for heat, but its good to see that resources and archive services are provided for in UCD. Visits by staff from the British library and skill-sharing in disaster-management form part of the NL’s policy here. I hope to update on the Archives of Cologne, the French National Archives dispute and digitizing Archival resources in a later post and will link further in the comments section.

A Renaissance for Literary Magazines,  from the Guardianadding a Guardian Books RSS Feed.

Note : I have added an RSS feed link to Guardian Books into the central column beneath this post, there is a very interesting report therein on how Tech advances a Literary Magazine Renaissance, which should be of interest to publishers, writers and readers. I am linking it here.