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The Windows of Graceland

New and Selected Poems

Martina Evans

The Windows of Graceland
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784102 76 0
Categories: 21st Century, Irish, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2016
216 x 138 mm
136 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB), eBook (PDF)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • The Windows of Graceland gathers the cream of the crop from Martina Evans’s five previous collections of poetry, brought up to date by a selection of new and unpublished work. The earliest poems date back to 1998 and Evans’s expatriation from Ireland. A complex nostalgia for her Catholic childhood establishes a central and enduring thread in the writing, the bloody shadow of sectarian conflict commingling with a child’s pastoral of pleated mustard kilts and corduroy paisley dresses, the ‘sighing country roads’, the ‘blue Burnfort evening’. The later poems, written from London, develop a fascination with Americana as the poet’s own cultural displacement takes on substitute forms, the Irish traveller Elvis O’Donnell finding his unlikely double in that other Elvis, of Graceland. Early poems on childhood come full-circle across the selection’s twenty-five year span in more recent poems on motherhood. When the poet’s teenage daughter returns home missing a shoe, ‘I don’t share her grief. / I feel relief / as if the shoe is a coin / paid to the wild / for her safe return.’ From story-teller to free-verse fili, memoirist to satirist, daughter to mother, The Windows of Graceland distils Evans’s full poetic range and power.
    Martina Evans grew up in County Cork and trained in Dublin as a radiographer before moving to London in 1988. She is the author of eleven books poetry and prose. She has won several awards including the Premio Ciampi International Prize for Poetry in 2011. Burnfort, Las Vegas (Anvil Press, 2014) ... read more
    Awards won by Martina Evans Winner, 2011 Premio Ciampi Internazionale di Poesia (Ciampi International Poetry Prize) (Facing the Public)
    'a subtle, challenging writer with a wonderfully destructive approach to the pieties she describes.'
    John McAuliffe, Irish Times
    Praise for Martina Evans   'Evans' verse is tightly packed with images, but loose enough in its metre to read naturally. One can take the book at a running pace and enjoy a story with deep emotional beats, or slow the pace and reflect on the careful choice of wording.'
    Joe Darlington, Manchester Review of Books
     The admired vernacular brilliance of Martina Evans's poetry is applied here to her most ambitious work to date, bringing to vivid life one of the most terrible periods of Irish history from the Troubles around 1920 to the Civil War, as witnessed and experienced by two generations of women ... No other poet currently writing in Britain and Ireland can rival Evans'€s ability to represent the impact of the political on the personal without easy histrionics. This is a remarkable document, a major work.
    Bernard O'€Donoghue
     'Evan'€s great skill is in knowing how much to put into a poem. She has a talent for selecting only the most resonant memories, for not over-icing the cake of sentiment. [...] Above all, Evans puts the right words in the right order, a dictum whose simple phrasing embodies its demands.'
    Michael Duggan, PN Review
    'These look like easy, anecdotal poems but they bite.'
    Alan Brownjohn, Sunday Times
     'A deceptively casual and enjoyable collection.'
    Irish Times
    'Martina Evans [is] brazenly humorous [...] with her dizzyingly wacky free-verse tale-telling.'
    The Tablet
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