In times of great uncertainty we’re trying to maintain some degree of ‘normality’. This new normal includes us publishing new titles, in challenging times, by two of our longstanding authors, Tom French and John McAuliffe, and one by an author new to our list, Caitríona Ní Chléirchín (Poems in Irish with translations into English by Peter Fallon). We’re delighted to announce these books and have great hopes that they will find their way through the turbulence and turmoil of our new world.

The Sea Field by Tom French

‘I have nobody but myself to blame
for being in packed snugs in the small hours
where snuff and spirits were doing the rounds,
in a burned church where we were spirits ourselves,
in that school opened specially on a Sunday
where we were allowed to be children briefly,
at that stone on the side of a thoroughfare
that bears the last names of half the town,
in the shops that survive only in memory,
for eavesdropping on an Act of Contrition,
for being a bona fide on licensed premises
sheltering from hurricanes and snow and droughts.
For every moment of that weather I give thanks.
I would go out into it all again.’

88pp
978-1-91133-786 7 €11.95 pb  
978-1-91133-787 4 €18.50 hb  
Publication date: 2 April 2020


Tom French was born in Kilkenny in 1966 and raised in Tipperary. Touching the Bones(2001) was awarded the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. The Gallery Press has also published The Fire Step (2009), Midnightstown (2014), The Way to Work (2016) and The Last Straw which was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award in 2019. He lives with his family close to the coast of County Meath where he works in the local studies department of the County library service. He received the Dermot Healy Award in 2015 and the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry in 2016.


The Kabul Olympics by John McAuliffe

The Kabul Olympics is a book of impossible places, from the imagined Kabul of the title poem to ‘City of Trees’ which conjures an alternate, parallel Manchester in the aftermath of the Arena bombing, from a plane spiralling ever upwards into the eye of a storm in ‘Godsend’ to the becalmed travels of ‘The Harbours’, a sequence which reflects on nationalism and border crossing.

Many of these poems find themselves in the dark, on journeys whose destinations seem uncertain, an uncertainty to which the book grows accustomed, teasing out strands of inheritance and departures which take the poems offshore into the heart of political crises as well as returning to the household lyrics which John McAuliffe has made his own.

This is vivid poetry which pits individual lives and ordinary days and hours and minutes against the historical events and catastrophes which would blow them away.

72pp
978-1-91133-784 3 €11.95 pb  
978-1-91133-785 0 €18.50 hb  
Publication date: 2 April 2020


John McAuliffe grew up in Listowel, County Kerry, and now lives in Manchester. The Gallery Press has published each of his collections, including Of All Places (2011, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and an Irish Times Book of the Year) and The Way In (2015, winner of The Michael Hartnett Award for Best Collection). Stockholm Syndrome, his versions from the Bosnian of Igor Klikovac (Smith Doorstop, 2019), was PBS Pamphlet Choice. He is Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester and writes a regular poetry column for The Irish Times. The Kabul Olympics is his fifth book.

 


The Talk of the Town by Caitríona Ní Chléirchín
Poems in Irish with translations into English by Peter Fallon

The judges of the Michael Hartnett Award for Poetry in 2015 highlighted Caitríona Ní Chléirchín’s poetry as ‘powerful, courageous, sassy and important . . . Her mastery of Irish and sense of being at home in tradition and modernity is evident in poems set in the 17th century, poems framed by Gaelic mythology and in intensely personal lyrics. The poems are full of passion.’

Caitríona Ní Chléirchín’s romantic sensibility contrasts with the more urgent contemporary notes of the collection’s concluding series of outraged poems haunted by memories of border crossings near her home place.

The Talk of the Town includes a generous and varied selection of her work with translations into English by Peter Fallon and offers evidence of a meeting of minds and common ground.

88pp
978-1-91133-788 1 €11.95 pb  
978-1-91133-789 8 €18.50 hb  
Publication date: 23 April 2020

 


 Caitríona Ní Chléirchín grew up in Gortmoney, Emyvale, in County Monaghan. She has published two collections in Irish, both from Coiscéim, Crithloinnir which won the Oireachtas Prize for New Writers in 2010 and An Bhrídeach Sí which was a joint winner of the Michael Hartnett Award in 2015. She is also a critic and an Irish Language and Literature lecturer in DCU.

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