Poetry Ireland Review Issue 109 Editorial

Issue 109

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 109 :

Edited by John F Deane
Includes poems by Galway Kinnell, Peter Sirr, Harry Clifton, Damian Smyth, Michelle O’Sullivan, Fred Johnston, Louis Mulcahy and Eleanor Hooker; alongside translations by John F Dean and Eva Ström, an interview with Bernard O’Donoghue and reviews of Louis de Paor, Harry Clifton and Doireann Ní Ghríofa.


There are very few magazine outlets for the longer poem, or the sequence (or even the ‘longish’ poem), so this issue of Poetry Ireland Review offers several such pieces. The issue begins with a poem by the poet of the ultimate ‘sequence collection’, The Book of Nightmares – Galway Kinnell. ‘Jubilate’ celebrates another long poem sequence, initiated by Christopher Smart and, as a longish poem, it celebrates poetry and poets, too, and the undying spirit of the work. I have also selected parts of the long sequence ‘Trodden Before’, by Patricia McCarthy, to give some sense of what the whole piece is offering.

I have been attempting to ‘introduce’ poets to a new audience. This issue has a Swedish poet, Eva Ström, very well-known throughout Scandinavia and further afield in Europe. It is time she was known here. I also wish to draw PIR readers’ attention to a new International English Language Quarterly, that hopes to do what this Review, and London’s Poetry Review, and the USA’s Poetry does, and is aimed towards a world-wide readership. Several of the world’s leading poets have united to develop and produce a top-quality magazine for world poetry in English. POEM – ‘a 129pp poetry quarterly made to fit in your pocket’ – is set to become a most important review on the global stage. The publishers include the Universities of Durham and of Santiago de Compostela, and Poetry Ireland offers its support along with Scott Griffin, founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize. I suspect and hope that the quarterly will become a vital energy in the world poetry scene. The editor is Fiona Sampson, poet and former editor of Poetry Review; among the advi- sory board members are CK Williams, Don Paterson, Marjorie Perloff, Sean O’Brien, John Burnside, Andrew Motion, Elaine Feinstein, David Harsent and Kathleen Jamie. The magazine will offer space and provocative reading matter for both established and newly-emerging poets. Subscription per annum is £30/€48/US$40, to include postage and packing. Cheques (PayPal facilities are not yet available) to be made payable to ‘Durham University’ and sent to POEM Magazine, c/o Durham University, Department of English Studies, Hallgarth House, 77 Hallgarth Street, Durham City, DH1 3AY. Why not get in at the very start and stay with this exciting project?

The death of Dennis O’Driscoll, on Christmas Eve of 2012, has left us deeply saddened, hurt and at a loss. As Seamus Heaney said in his talk at the funeral Mass in Naas, ‘His death leaves the country bereft of a dedicated poet, one whose work sought out reality, dark as that reality could prove to be. That work was a new growth ring on the old historical tree of Irish poetry, an original achievement.’ To mark the passing of a poet whose omnipresence in Irish poetry was an encouragement and a grace to all, PIR will offer a section of its next issue, in the summer of 2013, to the memory of Dennis O’Driscoll.

John F Deane


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