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James Harpur

  • About
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • James Harpur has had five poetry collections published by Anvil Press and is poetry editor of the Temenos Academy Review and a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of the arts. His Angels and Harvesters (2012) was a PBS Recommendation and shortlisted for the 2013 Irish Times Poetry Now Award; and The Dark Age (2007) won the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award. Other prizes and awards include the UK National Poetry Competition, the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize, an Eric Gregory Award, and a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. His other books include Fortune’s Prisoner, a translation of the poems of Boethius; and The Gospel of Joseph of Arimathea. He lives in West Cork.
    'This finely wrought, persuasive collection charts the difficulty of spiritual quest in a modern world, and reminds us how necessary it is.' 

    Hilary Davies, The Tablet  

        'James Harpur's poetry is moving, in the sense that moves, stirs something deep inside you, not just emotions or feelings, but more like a process of guided enlightenment.'

    Francesca Diano, Interalia Magazine
    'James Harpur's new collection, The White Silhouette, is a resonant, moving pilgrimage of great beauty, including a fabulous flash of Harpur's signature wry humour in his outstanding poem, Portora Royal.'

    Martina Evans, The Irish Times Books of 2018 list

     'Throughout the collection, Harpur's craft is both beautiful and subtle...The book's total effect is both complex and meditative.'

    Greg Brown, World Literature Today

    'The reader of James Harpur's most recent collection repeatedly encounters lines of startling beauty and great suggestiveness...'
    Glyn Pursglove, Acumen
    'The White Silhouette is a triumph of spiritual word-wielding...The rhythm of Harpur's lines are so masterfully controlled, one is borne along on his voice; calm, careful and always drifting...Holy or not, these poems are for the spirit.'

    Joe Darlington, the Manchester Review of Books

    'Both these collections (Harpur and Deane's Dear Pilgrims) give the lie to the idea that it is no longer possible to think and write creatively and freshly about religion in modern poetry: both Deane and Harpur look back for some of their insights, especially biographically, but their poetry remains conspicuously watching, tasting and touching today's world.'

    Stride Magazine

    'I found the fragile, minimal pieces very moving and convincing: like the fragments described, they carry a weight far beyond their size'

    Stride Magazine

     'Harpur's sensibility is attuned to love, time, myth, the numinous, the makings of poetry... Harpur has an imaginative wonder.'
    Andrew Waterman, London Magazine
      'There is a deceptive clarity, an almost translucent surface to the poems which belies their complexity and ambition. These are poems in search of -- and in response to --the numinous, the sacred, but they never settle for easy pieties or shortcuts.'
    Michael Symmons Roberts and Moniza Alvi, PBS Bulletin
    'His is an amazingly consistent voice, compelling in intensity... his is a world of insight and intuitions...  If you're brave enough, read him. He will take you into a world you will find difficult to forget.'
    R.J. Bailey, Envoi
     'His poetry, always strongly imbued with a sense of the sacred, makes great play of light's spiritual resonance... his brilliant imagery and luxuriant natural descriptions offer plenty to enjoy.'
    Sarah Crown, The Guardian
    Awards won by James Harpur Winner, 1995 National Poetry Competition Commended, 2001 Tablet Book of the Year (Oracle Bones) Short-listed, 2013 Irish Times Poetry Now Award (Angels and Harvesters) Winner, 2009 Michael Hartnett Annual Poetry Award (The Dark Age) Commended, 2012 Poetry Book Society (PBS): Choice - Summer (Angels and Harvesters)
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