We are delighted to present the launch of Stephen Sexton's first book If All the World and Love Were Young, published by Penguin.
Memories of going 'through the looking-glass' into the land of video games are some of the most evocative of all childhood. In these poems we are rushed back to years spent playing Super Mario World, a place where people are small and flowers are large, a place of treacherous labyrinths and heart-stopping leaps of faith, where the materiality, wonder and peril of that world bleeds into our own as the young player bravely travels with his mother on the journey of her life-ending illness.
Drawing on traditions of elegy and pastoral, this is a daring, moving and lyrically beautiful exploration of memory, grief and the unreal.
Stephen Sexton lives in Belfast, where he teaches at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Granta, POETRY, and Poetry Ireland Review. His pamphlet, Oils (Emma Press, 2014), was the Poetry Book Society’s Winter Pamphlet Choice. He was the winner of the 2016 National Poetry Competition and the recipient of an ACES award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2018.