In The Irish Times Michael Smith considered Frank McGuinness’s first collection, Booterstown, a ‘delightful surprise’ and welcomed ‘its robust vigour and candour’. In Cyphers Philip Casey saluted the ‘fierce passion’ of its poems.
The Sea with No Ships is equally considerate of the events and feelings which frequently determine a life. It contains elegies and poems for beloved friends. As it moves from evocations of ‘Rosa O’Doherty’ (d.1660 Louvain) to ‘Van Gogh in Donegal’ and from locations such as Heathrow Airport and Belgium to the Pacific coast, it celebrates memory, love and the human spirit. In the poem ‘Soul Music’ Frank McGuinness writes, ‘There is no beauty in the soul’s deception’, a truth this collection asserts with eloquence, energy and courage.