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Frank Ormsby

Fireflies by Frank Ormsby
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Categories: 21st Century, Irish
Imprint: OxfordPoets
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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(Pub. Aug 2011)
£9.95 £8.96
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  • The beers of America find their local here,
    the Dixie Crimson Voodoo, the Winter Hook,
    the Magic Hat Fat Angel. Whole seasons have arrived
    in brown bottles from Oregon and Vermont,
    Wisconsin and Colorado, to be enjoyed
    outdoors while the light holds or at lamplit tables.

                       from 'At the Lazy Boy Saloon and Ale Bar'

    Frank Ormsby's new collection travels among places strange and familiar: from the shaping memories of an upbringing in rural County Fermanagh, to a Belfast reinventing itself in a new century and the exhilarating novelty of America.

    In the first part of Fireflies Ormsby explores the past and vibrant present of an area of New York State which he has visited for the past twelve years. It remains to him as elusive as the 'fugitive selves' of the fireflies of the title. The latter part of the book engages with the poet's experience of his native Northern Ireland - the sour legacy of the Troubles, the dynamics of a community extending and remaking itself.

    Ormsby says he is by nature an 'anxious optimist', and these precisely lyrical poems are by turns elegiac and celebratory. 

    One Looks at One
    The Kensico Dam
    At the Lazy Boy Saloon and Ale Bar
    Valhalla Journal
    Next Stop    
    Cemetery Walks    
    In Kensico Cemetery    
    After the Storm    
    Stormy Night, Route 87    
    Dry Side or Wet Side?    
    Davis Brook    
    Washington’s Headquarters    
    What Will Survive    
    New World    
    Two Birthday Poems    
    Some Older American Poets    
    On Not Hearing the American Nightjar    
    Catching Fireflies
    Fireflies in a Belfast Garden    
    After the Japanese    
    Firefly Hour    
    The Celtic Firefly    

    The Aluminium Box    
    Silent Reading    
    The Rabbit    
    Smiling Foetus    
    The Hole in the Roof    
    Blackbirds, North Circular Road    
    from City Journal
        The Ice-Bird    
        The Shirt Factory    
        Derelict Building, Limestone Road    
        Storm, North Circular Road, 2 a.m.    
        The Three Czechs    
    Small World    
    Leaving Minnesota    
    Colin Middleton, ‘Lagan, Annadale’ (1941)    
    The Telescope    
    The Statues    
    The Gate    
    Some Spring Moons, North Circular Road    
    The Whooper Swan    
    The Builder    

    Frank Ormsby was born in 1947 in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. He describes himself as by nature an 'anxious optimist'. His work draws on his rural upbringing in Co Fermanagh but increasingly reflects a sense of Belfast where has lived since 1998. He is a graduate and postgraduate of Queen's University, Belfast ... read more
    Awards won by Frank Ormsby Winner, 2010 Morning Star Favourite Collection (Fireflies)
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