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RRP: GBP 7.99
ISBN: 978 1 784102 97 5
Categories: 21st Century, Irish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2016
88 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
Shortlisted for the 2017 Irish Times/Poetry Now Award
Written in the wake of Ireland’s 2008 economic collapse, Thomas McCarthy’s Pandemonium moves between lament and protest in search of a meaningful response in language. Many of the poems were written during a period of retreat along Ireland’s south-west coast, a landscape that imbues McCarthy’s politics with geological intensity. The Atlantic horizon ‘where the sun lies down in the west to die’ is mirrored inland by corruption and rot, a modern Ireland beset, in the poet’s eyes, by financial and moral pandemonium.
McCarthy’s subtle satiric wit and understated lyricism preserve raw outrage as historical document. His poems register the moral ire of many during a pivotal era of Irish history, leading with the poet’s only weapon, the word – ‘the ink trail that pain makes on the page’.
Awards won by Thomas McCarthy Short-listed, 2017 Irish Times/Poetry Now Award (Pandemonium)
'Pandemonium is a superb collection, written by a fearless poet at the height of his powers. If anger is infectious then this critic is angry too for McCarthy deserves more attention: he deserves acclaim, honour and recognition for the lonely furrow he continues to plough.'
Clíona Ní Ríordáin, Southword
'Thomas McCarthy's Pandemonium was launched in late 2016, but its quality justifies its inclusion here. A long time in gestation, it was well worth the wait, with its themes of home, heart, and recession.'
Cork Evening Echo Best Books of 2017
'Pandemonium's urgent, involving and rewarding poems make us question where we have come from and look again at where we are going.'
The Irish Times 'His voice - with its idiosyncratic tone and verbal texture - registered firmly as one of the most distinctive and it is now one of the most authoritative among poets of his generation. The weight of that authority and his mastery of a personal tone are evident in this fine new collection.'
Dublin Review of Books 'No other poet comes to mind, living or dead, who has succeeded in engaging the political as poetic subject matter . . . McCarthy, it would seem, has been able to internalize the subject matter and given it the time to cool down and clarify, until his art can give it a shape.'
Praise for Thomas McCarthy 'The life of these poems lies in that space of ambivalence, somewhere between commitment and caution [...] McCarthy is a poet of lovingly observed small details.'
David Wheatley, TLS
'The pandemonium at the heart of this collection is "between the high water mark and the low", and you can feel within the certaintiy of the words that there is unease, panic that the ebbing tide will leave too many stranded'
Liam Murphy, The Munster Express
'Prophecy teems with fabulous characters and personas but plant life is key here...magnificent, passionate and urgently prescient, Prophecy confronts mortality and materialism, asserting the power of art.'
Martina Evans, The Irish Times
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