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RRP: GBP 9.99
ISBN: 978 1 784100 63 6
Categories: 21st Century, American, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: January 2015
72 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
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Moya Cannon’s new collection reaches back into the long past, showing how traces left behind – textile fragments, buried thimbles, cave paintings – enable us to make imaginative connections with our distant ancestors, emphasising the commonalities of human lives lived many centuries apart. At the heart of the book is the vital importance of art, as the means by which we give permanence to the fleeting moments of our lives; and our need for a connection to the natural world, even in the most mechanised of modern environments. As the train conductor in the title poem asserts, ‘“I’m going to get a T-shirt with / Keats Lives on it. This time of year, […] when everything starts coming green again, / I always think of him…”’.
Praise for Moya Cannon 'Reading these poems is often akin to travelling through time - or being made aware of layers of time before our own'
Robyn Bolam, The High Window
'The unshowiness of her work, the apparent careful weighing of words, is one of its appealing characteristics: for Cannon this seems not just a question of style but a necessary way in which to be true to her own sense of wonder in the world.'
Gerard Smyth, Dublin Review of Books
'Moya Cannon has a talent for the long shot; whole vistas open up in a handful of words... a master at evoking [time's] mysterious slippery quality... [her] unerring pared back poems express [a] deep knowledge and affection again and again.'
Martina Evans, The Irish Times
'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 'These wonderful poems lay down not just a landscape and a history, but a music which is all their own, through which the reader can enter a unique dialogue between elegy and celebration.'
'In this new collection, Moya Cannon, through intent attention to light and sound and the natural materials that produce them, touches the very principle of life itself. Hands is a profoundly moving set of meditations on what it means to be alive, physically and emotionally.'
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