"Places We Actually Go": three Irish poets' debuts

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O'Sullivan, James
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Los Angeles Review of Books, LARB
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Research Projects
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As readers of poetry, we consistently commit the same act of self-deprivation – we associate literary quality with longevity. This emerges from a sort of reverse ageism, wherein the pillars of national canons are often authors who have remained prolific across several decades, the assumption being that great poets return to the anvil. Coupled with longevity is visibility, the extent to which a poet is seen to be successful. While the canonizing influence of visibility has always been present, it has been reinforced in an age of social media-enabled posturing. To be a great writer, then, it would seem one must be both productive and visible – a trend that suggests that we have forgotten how to listen when words might vouch for themselves, how to recognize literary greatness when it creeps up on us, quiet and unassuming. In Elaine Cosgrove, Roisin Kelly, and Annemarie Ní Churreáin whose debut collections were released over the past 24 months – we find Ireland’s strongest contemporary voices. Not the strongest young voices, not the strongest potential voices – the strongest voices.
Review of: Transmissions, By Elaine Cosgrove Published 2017, Dedalus Press; Bloodroot, By Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Published 2017, Doire Press; Rapture, By Roisin Kelly, Published 2016, Southword Editions
Irish literature , Irish poetry , Cork International Poetry Festival
O'Sullivan, J. (2018) '"Places We Actually Go": Three Irish Poets' Debuts', Los Angeles Review of Books, August 03, Available at: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/places-we-actually-go-three-irish-poets-debuts
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