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There Was Fire In Vancouver
ISBN: 978 1 857542 30 1
Categories: 20th Century, First Collections, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 1996
216 x 135 x 6 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
'There Was Fire in Vancouver'
There was fire in Vancouver,
And we leaned out into the night to watch it
Set light to the East End.
It had taken stand on Commercial Avenue.
We marvelled at the darkness of the city,
All neon dulled by the superior flame,
And wondered would it bestow its dance
On the Ginseng Teahouse in Chinatown, on Jericho Pier.
There were no sirens, hoses, buckets even,
Scattering streets and 'Fire!''Fire!'
We seemed the only ones conscious of the bright crusade
And we watched with Moses standing in our heads.
There Was Fire in Vancouver is Sinéad Morrissey's first book of poems. Organised as a journey from communism to spiritual affirmation, from life in Ireland to life abroad, and return, from security and dependence on family in particular, to independence and security in the self, it memorably evokes what it is to grow up. Poems of childhood and communist upbringing are followed by poems about death, love, its loss; and several deal with angels and the implications of religious faith.
Affected by the poets of Northern Ireland, Sinéad acknowledges a particular debt to the Welsh poet R.S. Thomas, remarking on his 'absolute clarity of language and the directness of a vision which is both beautiful and terrifying.' She adds, 'Thomas inspires me because he is absolutely faithful to his own poetic concerns, regardless of a predominantly atheistic environment and changing literary fashions. He teaches that half the battle is knowing what not to listen to.' Sinéad Morrissey's poems seldom fall short of the ideals she sets herself.
Awards won by Sinead Morrissey ,
Winner of UK National Poetry Competition for the poem 'Through the Square Window' (2007)
Winner of a Lannan Literary Fellowship (2007)
Poetry Book Society Recommendation for The State of the Prisons (2005)
Shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Commonwealth Literature Prize for The State of the Prisons (2005)
Shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Prize for The State of the Prisons (2005)
Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for The State of the Prisons (2005)
Joint winner of the Michael Hartnett Award for Poetry for The State of the Prisons (2005)
Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for Between Here and There (2002).
MaCaulay Fellowship (2002)
Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for Between Here and There (2002).
An Eric Gregory Award for There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996)
Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry (1990)
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
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