Liffey Swim Irish Times Review

Delighted to see my poetry book’s first review in last weekend’s Irish Times. It’s great to be reviewed in such good company too, along with new collections by Kerry Hardie, Gerald Dawe, Nessa O’Mahony and Theo Dorgan. Here’s my mention:

Although Jessica Traynor’s first collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus, €11.50), is not grounded in elegy, one of its successes is the surreal reversal of (the bravely titled) The Dead, whose deathbed scene is clamorous with ghosts: “I didn’t want to leave her with them, / so I stayed and they promised to behave – / though they were already into the whiskey. / In the small hours she called for them / and, when her life escaped her, // it shook out its legs like a newborn foal.”

The book shows her care with form as she negotiates public and private spaces: eBay, street scenes, the Liffey swim of its title, an archaeological dig. Others imagine an animal world clearly, as when Egrets in the Tolka “becomes an aerial show // by a bird that looks through me, / seeking only the shadows / of slow-moving fish.”

You can read the full round up of reviews here

I’m looking forward to doing some readings next week in Dublin and London, more updates to follow soon.