Launch reading by Fleur Adcock, Kerry Hardie and Aoife Lyall

Launch reading by Fleur Adcock, Kerry Hardie and Aoife Lyall

 

Fleur Adcock, Kerry Hardie and Aoife Lyall celebrated the publication of their new books, reading reading live and discussing their work with each other and with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley at our February 2024 online launch event. This free Bloodaxe launch event was streamed on YouTube Live and is now available to watch here: https://youtube.com/live/_dLjHYNGf1Y

 

To order copies of the poets’ books direct from Bloodaxe, please click on these links. If you are in Ireland or elsewhere in the EU, you can pre-order via Books Upstairs in Dublin:

Fleur Adcock: Collected Poems

https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/collected-poems-1338

Aoife Lyall: The Day Before

https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/the-day-before-1340

Kerry Hardie: We Go On

https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/we-go-on-1339

*

Fleur Adcock: Collected Poems

Fleur Adcock is one of Britain's most accomplished poets. Her poised, ironic poems are tense and tightly controlled as well as shrewdly laconic, and often chilling as she unmasks the deceptions of love or unravels family lives. Disarmingly conversational in style, they are remarkable for their psychological insight and their unsentimental, mischievously casual view of personal relationships.

Born in New Zealand, she has explored questions of identity and rootedness throughout her work, both in relation to her personal allegiances to her native and adopted countries as well as her family history, whose long-dead characters she brings to life. She has also written movingly of birth, death and bereavement, and has tackled political issues with honest indignation and caustic wit.

This first complete edition of her poetry is published on her 90th birthday, superseding her earlier retrospective, Poems 1960-2000, with the addition of five later collections published by Bloodaxe, Dragon Talk (2010), Glass Wings (2013), The Land Ballot (2015), Hoard (2017) and The Mermaid's Purse (2021), along with a gathering of 20 new poems. All her most celebrated poems are here, from the highly entertaining 'Against Coupling', 'Smokers For Celibacy' and 'The Prize-winning Poem' to modern classics such as 'The Ex-Queen Among the Astronomers' and 'Things'.

*

Aoife Lyall: The Day Before

Aoife Lyall’s The Day Before beautifully captures the ordinary moments in life that crystallise in the face of crisis and threat. Focusing on the earliest weeks and months of the pandemic, these intimate and meticulous poems mark the lived experience of someone who must navigate a world she no longer understands, exploring first steps and last breaths, milestones, millstones, emigration, fly-tipping and the entire world to be found in the space behind the front door.

Tender, challenging, and historically significant, The Day Before asks what it means when home is the one place you cannot leave, and the one place you cannot go.

The Day Before is Aoife Lyall’s second collection, following her widely praised debut, Mother, Nature, which was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book Award in Scotland's National Book Awards in 2021

*

Kerry Hardie: We Go On

This is a book about the irreducible core of what it is to be human in a world that changes constantly yet repeats and repeats. It uses images that speak to a place in us that does not depend on fashion but braves that over-used word ‘archetypal’. It is mostly specific to a landscape the author knows very well yet sometimes ventures beyond, always with the awareness that fear is our constant companion, but also joy.

Its title echoes Beckett's ‘I must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on’ (from his novel The Unnameable), with something of this despair, while holding to the irrational conviction of ‘being enclosed by light’. Kerry Hardie’s work – as Claire Askew has noted – is ‘a dark and gorgeous hymn to mortality’. It recognises that all localness is part of humanness; that the dominance of one sort of humanness to the exclusion of another sort diminishes all humanness, representing both loss and the degradation of the whole. Knowing this, the poet resolves –

just to go on
and keep making stories
to tell to the children
the hungry
the hunted
the old and the haunted

to pass the time
mark the hour
find the answer
go on trying


[11 February 2024]


Back to Poetry Events

cart
CART
search
TITLE SEARCH

A-Z

AUTHORS

A-Z

CATEGORIES

View Larger Text