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Moya Cannon

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  • Reviews
  • Moya Cannon is an Irish poet with five published collections, the most recent being Keats Lives (Carcanet). The mountains, the shoreline and our primal and enduring responses to the beauty of the endangered earth are the inspiration for many of her poems. Archaeology and geology figure too as gateways to deeper understanding of our mysterious relationship with the natural world and our past.

    Music, particularly traditional Irish music, has always been a deep interest and is a constant theme. She has received the Brendan Behan Award and the O'Shaughnessy Award and was 2011 Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. She was born in Co. Donegal and now lives in Dublin.
    Praise for Moya Cannon 'A revelation in its range and depth. These poems are written out of Moya Cannon's enduring preoccupations: with history -€“ especially the history of exile and displacement -€“ with music, language, loss. True to the shifts of real experience, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes ironic, she deploys an understated technique, in a voice that is deliberate, exact and witty. Here are poems, landscapes alive with birds, people and stories, that show us our world, our past and culture through the gift of just, joyful words; they help us to reflect and to live.'
    Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
    'Its sterling qualities are manifest and manifold: a deep interiority and soaring lyricism, and an ability to produce what Tim Robinson has termed 'geophany', a showing forth of the earth.'
    Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill
    'The intensely lyrical musings on life, landscape and love stir the heart, disturb the settled thought and, more in this collection than in the earlier, soothe the soul. Like her fellow northerner, Seamus Heaney, Cannon digs deep with the pen. And whilst the theme of sea voyaging and water inform the titles of both her books, that which the earth throws up is of equal fascination.'
    The Cork Examiner
    'Her newly published second collection, The Parchment Boat contains the subtly evoked passion and meditative restraint that was distinctive in Oar, her first collection.'
    The Irish Times
    'All the journeyings envisaged and chronicled by Moya Cannon are to be sought in a remarkable symbiosis of humanity and the 'natural world', a perceived and felt unity of creation which goes light years beyond any mere empathy of imagining. I should not be surprised if a few of Moya Cannon's phrases become, in time, part of our 'poetry-talking': 'the faulted hills', 'the room-sized fields', 'the clay part of the heart.'
    Poetry Ireland Review
    'Complicated things happen simply in these poems. The Burren's dove-saints hatch out under the eyes of raptors; old wooden sailboats of Connemara take root in salt water. Moya Cannon's style is as discreet as the advance of spring over her favoured landscapes. It is good to have a collection of her work to hand, for deep re-reading.'
    Tim Robinson
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