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Categories: 21st Century, British, Irish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (256 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2012)
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(Pub. Oct 2012)
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In the five volumes of poetry he has published since 1989, Peter McDonald explores an intimately known territory that becomes strange: pulled out of shape by history, made unfamiliar by distance, made new by the attentive imagination. McDonald’s Collected Poems is a sustained meditation on place and belonging, loss and love. The classical world is a haunting presence; the landscape of McDonald’s poems resonates with past voices, with memories and acts of remembrance. The assured and scrupulous craft that creates the telling detail, the unsettling depth, has made him one of the most important Northern Irish writers of his generation.
Awards won by Peter McDonald Short-listed, 2017 London Hellenic Prize (The Homeric Hymns)
'Hugely impressive... not just rich but endlessly varied and subtle... marvellous.'
David Wheatley, Irish Times Praise for Peter McDonald 'McDonald is often impressively adept at using varied metres for cadence, musicality, tension. He resists the over-dramatic, but is a poet of fierce feeling - moved and often moving.'
TLS 'Peter McDonald's unsettling imagination occupies a middle distance between domesticity and wilderness - what he calls 'the melancholy distance'. His fine elegies and love poems have in common a cool intonation and an argumentative persistence: the overlap is a telling one. McDonald's disenchanted vision makes the moments of intimacy and tenderness, when they come, all the more affecting. In addition, his profound literary intelligence thrives on metrical and stanzaic challenge, and ranges with relish from gnomic brevity to sustained meditation, narrative and memoir. These poems, which with their gently syncopated lines may seem understated, register the uneasiness and the excitement of 'the buzzing world': they are, in the poet's own words, 'back roads to everywhere'.
Michael Longley 'Peter McDonald's unsettling imagination occupies a middle distance between domesticity and wilderness... [his] disenchanted vision makes the moments of intimacy and tenderness, when they come, all the more affecting.'
Michael Longley, CBE 'McDonald's work 'is entirely in keeping with Milton's enjoinder that poetry be "simple, sensuous and passionate". His musicality is not just rich but endlessly varied and subtle. [...] It embodies the values of accuracy, conscience, and restraint but with no skimping of intensity or ferocity.'
David Wheatley, Irish Times
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