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Maura Dooley

Five Fifty-Five

Maura Dooley

Publication Date : 27 Apr 2023

ISBN: 9781780376578

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Maura Dooley’s poetry is remarkable for embracing both lyricism and political consciousness, for its fusion of head and heart. These qualities have won her wide acclaim. Helen Dunmore (in Poetry Review) admired her ‘sharp and forceful’ intelligence. Adam Thorpe praised her ability ‘to enact and find images for complex feelings…Her poems have both great delicacy and an undeniable toughness…she manages to combine detailed domesticity with lyrical beauty, most perfectly in the metaphor of memory ’ (Literary Review).

Five Fifty-Five is Maura Dooley’s first new collection since The Silvering (2016). These are quizzical poems concerned with time and mortality which ask fundamental questions about our lives, such as Where have you gone? and Who were you anyway? She tries to find out through conversations with, among others, Louisa M. Alcott, Hokusai, Jane Austen, Buzz Aldrin, Anne Tyler and the Great Uncle and Grandfather she never knew.

There are poems, too, about the difficulties and responsibilities of translation, both from the written word and in interpreting what is left unspoken in different kinds of absence; empty streams, bare trees, the loss of friends. Yet these are poems that find and try to offer consolation,
          'What have you learned exactly?
          To love, to speak up, to hold steady.'

 

'Dooley's infinitely delicate poems behave "shyly" but never lose their balance on her tightrope of fine connections.' - Martina Evans, The Irish Times, on Five Fifty-Five

 

'Five Fifty-Five has a sustained set of tender lyrics that work their charm by focusing on moments that leap to gather greater consequence with effortless ease.' – Daljit Nagra, choosing Maura Dooley's sixth collection as his Poetry Extra Poetry Book of the Month, BBC Radio 4 Extra

'I feel that the special gift of all the writing in Five Fifty-Five is to refresh and heighten our perceptions. Dooley’s talent for metaphor gives her writing imaginative drive in a very obvious way. More elusively, her poetry’s enchanting of the world depends on an indefinable rightness, beauty, evocativeness in the very sound and flow of her lines, and on her tact in surrounding words with pauses and breathing spaces within which the reader’s own thoughts can grow.' – Edmund Prestwich, London Grip

'This tough, honest but delicately crafted collection often deals with the displaced, the in-between, loss and liminal states like 'the violet hour' in the title poem ... These poems resonate beyond first reading, teasing, reflecting and always approaching the ineffable.' – Theresa Sowerby, Orbis, on on Five Fifty-Five

'Sonically elegant and rich with memorable descriptions and images, the latest from Dooley (after The Silvering) explores the past, mortality, and the silences and omissions that invite deeper reflection on the page... Commanding and quietly layered, these lyrically precise and subtle poems deserve revisiting.' – Maya C. Popa, Publishers' Weekly, on Five Fifty-Five

'The Silvering...occupies and explores more deeply the well-planted ground she has made for herself. The poems in this book move with customary reverence between the stripped lyric and something that approaches narrative but never quite becomes it. Her lyrics are often pared back, transformative acts, particularly adept at the making strange... This is not just an act of compression but a master-class in the paradox of elliptical inclusion. And there are many poems in this collection that achieve this.' – Vona Groarke & Tim Liardet, PBS Bulletin

‘I’d also recommend Maura Dooley’s The Silvering, a book of reflective and deceptively simple verse, lyrically beautiful, sharp and observant.’ – Tracey Thorn, New Statesman (Summer Reads 2016)

‘Mystery, memory, uncertainty are recurring motifs in these (mostly) brief lyrics that both relish our perceptions and doubt their staying power.’ – Beverley Bie Brahic, Times Literary Supplement [on The Silvering]

‘A collection of elegiac poems that make us think in new ways about absence. Dooley looks at what happens when we encounter the memory of something or someone lost, and records how those memories are fixed, like photographs, in the “silvering”. The emotions revisited are as fresh and powerful as they were when first felt.’ – Lavinia Greenlaw, The Week (Best books), on The Silvering
 

Maura Dooley at Newcastle Poetry Festival 2023

In this reading at the 2023 Newcastle Poetry Festival, Maura Dooley reads the poems 'Letters from Yorkshire', 'Out', 'Talks About Talks' and 'Still Life with Sea Pinks and High Tide', followed by an extract from ‘The Source’. She then reads several poems from Five Fifty-Five: 'Fam', 'Quiver', 'Fine Wind, Clear Morning' and 'The Unforgotten'. Maura ends the reading with her Forward Prize shortlisted poem 'Cleaning Jim Dine’s Heart', from The Silvering, and 'A Bunch of Consolation' from Five Fifty-Five.

Maura Dooley reads seven poems

Maura Dooley reads seven poems: ‘Up on the Roof’, ‘What Every Woman Should Carry’, ‘History’, ‘Dancing at Oakmead Road’ and ‘Freight’ from Sound Barrier: Poems 1982-2002 (2002) and ‘The Elevator’ from Life Under Water (2008). Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed Maura Dooley in London on 8 October 2007. This film is from the DVD-anthology In Person: 30 Poets, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & edited by Neil Astley (2008). 


Ireland & EU: Click here to order from Books Upstairs in Dublin

USA: Click here to order from Indiebound or Bookshop.org

  

BOOKS BY Maura Dooley

Life Under Water

Maura Dooley

Life Under Water

Publication Date : 25 Sep 2008

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Sound Barrier

Maura Dooley

Sound Barrier

Poems 1982-2002

Publication Date : 25 Apr 2002

Read More   amazon.co.uk
The Honey Gatherers

Maura Dooley

The Honey Gatherers

A Book of Love Poems

Publication Date : 14 Feb 2003

Read More   amazon.co.uk
The Silvering

Maura Dooley

The Silvering

Publication Date : 24 Mar 2016

Read More   amazon.co.uk

Related News & Publicity

Poetry Events


Maura Dooley Readings

Maura Dooley Readings

Maura Dooley's joint online launch for Five Fifty-Five is now on YouTube.

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News & Publicity


Maura Dooley's Five Fifty-Five reviewed in The Irish Times

Maura Dooley's Five Fifty-Five reviewed in The Irish Times

Maura Dooley's sixth collection Five Fifty-Five reviewed in London Grip, Publishers' Weekly & The Irish Times. Maura read a poem on Radio 4's Poetry Please on 3...

Read More  |  View All

Poetry Events


Launch reading by Harry Clifton, Maura Dooley and Matthew Hollis

Launch reading by Harry Clifton, Maura Dooley and Matthew Hollis

This launch reading by Harry Clifton, Maura Dooley and Matthew Hollis is now available to watch on YouTube.

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