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Categories: 21st Century, Irish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (88 pages)
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Following his acclaimed Pandemonium, Thomas McCarthy’s Prophecy dwells on childhood memory, romantic love and the varieties of human attachment. Still embodying his distinctive voice and craft, in these poems McCarthy risks more prophetic moods and themes. There are poems on illness and recovery, ageing and creativity.
From the community well of his childhood home in County Waterford to the holy well and pilgrim site of St Gobnait’s in County Cork, the poet finds that the act of remembering is an act of making and understanding. ‘All this / Metaphor and trauma and formal technique / I place in my canvas travel bag’, he writes, beginning his poetic journeys into formal Irish Gardens of Remembrance, field hospitals of the great War, the 1970s university campus of Iowa. ‘Along with Paul Muldoon,’ suggested Dennis O’Driscoll, McCarthy is ‘the most important Irish poet of his generation.’
Awards won by Thomas McCarthy Short-listed, 2017 Irish Times/Poetry Now Award (Pandemonium)
'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
Praise for Thomas McCarthy '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.'
The Carcanet Blog The Earliest Witnesses: G.C. Waldrep read more Conor Cleary: NPVIII: Meet the Contributor read more New Poetries VIII: Tara Bergin on Suzannah V. Evans read more Suzannah V. Evans: NPVIII: Meet the Contributor read more New Poetries VIII: Andrew Wynn Owen on Tristram Fane Saunders read more Tristram Fane Saunders: NPVIII: Meet the Contributor read more
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