The Gallery Press in association with Poetry Ireland hopes you will join us to celebrate the publication of The Last Straw by Tom French and Given Light by Michael Coady.
Tom French’s fifth book of poems, The Last Straw, reveals an ever quickening sense of what a poem might be — and do. With its capacity to move his readers and listeners and to register ordinary moments in a luminous glow, it’s no wonder his work attracts an ever growing host of admirers.
‘In this collection, when I’m not witnessing maimings and getting electrocuted on building sites, I’m eavesdropping on bridge painters, hanging around public houses, and failing abysmally to leave behind me the bog I knew. I appear to be trying to get to the bottom of what I learned there. Whatever coasts I find myself on offer some small relief. Spare a thought for me — staying out of the sun, reading, channel surfing, counting the days until the flight home.’
Given Light, Michael Coady’s most moving book to date, incorporates — in his own inimitable style — poetry, prose and photographs. Increasingly alert to ‘time’s undertow’, Coady finds intimations of transcendence in the everyday. ‘Dear Afterlife’ is his account in verse of the funeral of Dennis O’Driscoll; ‘A State of Light’ is a Connemara sequence set to music by Bill Whelan, while ‘On the Eve of a Tree-felling’ is shaped by undercuts of intimate emotion.
Coady dramatically affirms ‘woman’s death-defying miracle’ of childbirth in ‘The Other Half’ and also offers the deeply affecting ‘Palestrina and Amigo Holden of The Hill’ — invoking the ghost of the Renaissance composer to attend a country music ceremony and ‘send-off’.
Given Light is a book of memory and reimagining infused throughout with Michael Coady’s distinctive music.