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This attractively produced collection of
the works of 53 modern Irish poets provides a comprehensive representation
of Irish poetic achievement in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Containing almost 800 poems, editor Wes Davis wants his readers to “think
of this anthology as a guidebook to a vibrant terrain you’ll want
to explore further once you’ve closed the cover”. The editor’s
selection includes work by world-renowned poets, including Seamus Heaney,
Eavan Boland and Patrick Kavanagh, as well as work by poets such as James
Simmons and Justin Quinn, whose careers may be less well known to the
general public; by poets writing in English and by those such as Nuala
Ní Dhomhnaill and Cathal Ó Searcaigh who work primarily
in the Irish language (Gaelic selections appear in translation).
As with any selection such as this, there will be disagreement as to the inclusions and exclusions. However there will be general agreement that this anthology makes a valuable contribution to the study of modern Irish poetry and will provide hours of enjoyment for those interested in reading the work of many of Ireland’s finest poets.
Wes Davis is a former assistant professor of English at Yale University.
“The book includes upwards of 50 poets - and there's not a dull page in it. Editor Wes Davis's selection is judicious, while his introduction and notes are as informative as they are brief.” Richard Tillinghast, The Wall Street Journal
“What is clear, and what needs to be stated clearly, is that this is a gathering of some of the finest poems written by Irish poets over the past 100 years or so.” Philip Coleman, The Irish Times.