Each of Us (Our Chronic Alphabets)

Natasha Cuddington

Each of Us (Our Chronic Alphabets)

ISBN: 9781851322039

This is an astonishing collection, original, complex and weighty. Natasha Cuddington’s language follows the movements of the mind, the emphases, repetitions and lacunae of actual colloquial speech, so that the reader gathers meaning, as if overhearing voices. The integrity of the work, its precision in layout, are matched by its fertility and life. We are drawn in as readers to discover how we can be touched by language divorced from predictable shapes and structures, how words can surround us stereophonically and immerse us in meaning, how metaphors can accumulate over a series. The poems confront us with alien depths, and then again with glimpses of the natural, the familiar world, displayed in language that is rich and suggestive.

– Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

This is exhilarating work! As if an eruption is happening in her language and her job is to put it all back together in new and magnificent order. I imagine her as the great grand niece of e.e.cummings, in a lineage that goes back to Emily Dickinson and beyond into the distant past of mark making. Deep learning and curiosity is the hallmark of this poetry and it rewards the reader — the more you will have looked, the more you will have found.

– Paula Meehan

Natasha Cuddington’s work takes the reader on a journey to the sources of the self. With striking imagery and with an arresting precision of language, these poems demand our close attention, repaying that by providing experiential moments that will stay in the mind for an age. Surprising, inventive and never predictable, this work is humane and engaged with the multiple pressures on the integrity of how we live now. In matching formal experiment to the zeitgeist of our moment, Natasha Cuddington announces herself as a poet who speaks directly to our times.

– Siobhán Campbell

Parhelia, Grace, Print. Across the arc of these parts image, motif and language, uniquely forged, combine to illuminate the movement of the whole by the measure from its wing.

– Eilish Martin

The Price Of Desire

Phyl Herbert

The Price Of Desire

ISBN: 9781851321438

For a debut collection these stories manifest remarkable maturity. It is not that the author has assumed the storyteller’s mantle later in life, nor that her characters are illuminated from a similar vantage point, but rather that she seems to arrive fully fledged and in command of her craft, fully versed in the wisdom and endowed with the experience of her forerunners. The city of Dublin and her people are the raw material from which Herbert fashions her stories. Her observing eye is accurate and unsentimental, but conditioned by a loving attachment. Her older citizens demonstrate a refreshing flamboyance. Phyl Herbert and her array of colourful characters are a welcome arrival in the field of the Irish short story.

– Jack Harte

Phyl Herbert writes in a beautifully clear, fluent style. Her stories are delicately constructed miniatures, tender glimpses into the lives of her often flawed characters as they make the best of their way through life.

Dublin Review of Books

In The Price of Desire, Phyl Herbert’s debut collection, twin sisters share an uneasy reunion in a spa hotel, secrets bubbling between them; an ageing farmer wakes to an empty day, filled only with the sour legacy of betrayal; a young woman makes a startling bid for freedom, Freddie Mercury’s golden voice ringing in her ears; and released from the stark monochrome world of a Mother and Baby Home, a former nun chooses a new beginning bursting with colour and pulsating to the rhythm of the tango.

Parvit of Agelast

Máighréad Medbh

Parvit of Agelast
ISBN: 9781851321582

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This highly evolved verse novel, inspired by the flamboyancy of Pauline Bewick’s work, operates on several levels, as a documentary of faces which proffers an extreme spiritual purification, as the transfiguration of a tormented quasi-human substance, as a powerful critique of an environment where reality and experience diverge. Orwellian, Swiftian in the satiric bite of its allegory, a parable of genetic modification and cosmic meltdown, it is relieved by witty offhand prose asides, it bursts and wrests grammar and language to rise to sophisticated effects, like ‘she feel-knows’, ‘she peers at the marketplace like a pig at a butcher’s knife’. With its bizarre cast and victim-heroine it lends itself to a futuristic film or stage drama adaptation. It is highly 21st century and cunningly wrought

– Medbh McGuckian


Most of us, most of the time, live in a world governed by the dimensions and laws of an agreed fiction. From time to time, and usually by accident, we find ourselves bewildered by the raw mystery of existence, and face the terrors of the mind in freefall – a vertigo from which we quickly retreat. There is a comfort in the known, the already-agreed, the shared language, the shared (and largely unquestioned) consensus. Nevertheless, curious creatures that we are, there is always someone willing to push the boundaries – someone willing or driven to fantasise a world entire in itself, a withdrawal from the exigencies of this world we think we know, an utopia or dystopia to which we can retreat when the world becomes all too much for us. Máighréad Medbh has long been known as an astute, involved and incisive commentator on our world. Here she has made an entire world never before known, ‘self-conceiving, self-involved … its own immanent god’. Boundary-breaking even in its form (a fantasy novel in verse), Parvit of Agelast is something entirely new under the sun

– Theo Dorgan

Between the Leaves: New Haiku Writing from Ireland

Anatoly Kudryavitsky (ed.)

Between the Leaves: New Haiku Writing from Ireland

ISBN: 9781851321599

Between the Leaves is an anthology of new haiku writing from Ireland. It comprises works by 63 poets and covers the full range of English language and occasionally Irish language haiku (with English translations), from classic to contemporary. Some of these poems have won accolades in various countries, including Japan, the USA, Canada, Croatia, Romania, Italy and, of course, Ireland.

The editor, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, has published three critically acclaimed collections of his haiku. His previous anthology of Irish haiku writing, Bamboo Dreams (Doghouse Books, 2012) was shortlisted for the Haiku Foundation Touchstone Distinguished Book Award.

Praise for Bamboo Dreams:

‘A worthy addition to your bookshelf’ – Charles Trumbull, Modern Haiku

The Inexperienced Midwife

Miceál Kearney

The Inexperienced Midwife

ISBN: 9781851321322

In this second collection from the young Galway poet and farmer, themes of birth, personal development and death run through the poems. There is also an autobiographical strand, with poems that spawn from within a working farm, across cultural divides to the intimacy of unorthodox relationships.

Jobs for a Wet Day

Ger Reidy

Jobs for a Wet Day

ISBN: 9781851321391

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Ger Reidy was born near Westport, Co. Mayo. His third poetry collection, Before Rain, was published by Arlen House in 2014 and was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize at Listowel Writers’ Week. He has won several national poetry competitions and has been the recipient of a number of bursaries and residencies from the Arts Council and Mayo County Council. His earlier collections, Pictures from a Reservation (1998) and Drifting Under the Moon (2010) were published by Dedalus Press. Ger’s poetry has been published in many literary journals, both at home and abroad, and he has read at numerous literary festivals. Since 2012 he has judged the Westport Arts Festival poetry competition.

Other Routes

Mary Turley-McGrath

Other Routes

ISBN: 9781851321148

One of the pleasures offered by Other Routes lies in the fact that the other routes the poems bring to such vivid life do not have an end in sight. These are poems about the magic and mystery of destination and destiny; of meetings and missings; of what might have happened. They range widely through time and space, discovering that “Drowned amphorae from the seabed prove/ nothing is ever completely lost.” The poems are keyed to the music and chaos of interconnection and inconclusion which they face with courage and humility: “Do not try to understand,/ do not fear, it is far/ beyond your realm.”

– Mark Roper

The poems in Forget the Lake (Arlen House, 2013) reflect a vivid sense of place, what Seamus Heaney has referred to as “an imaginative nest”, a beloved place that becomes a ground for the voice … There is wonder in the everyday drama of weather, of waking to a mountain wrapped in mist, or a flooded field … [The poems] convey a love of language, of the sounds of words in the mouth … The imagery is startling, often sensual.

– Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Poetry Ireland Review

Fear Not

Stephen James Smith

Fear Not

ISBN: 9781851321445

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New Irish Poetry Urgently Needed … Stephen James Smith answers the call!

– Christy Moore

Stephen James Smith is a writer gifted with empathy, passion and the rare mastery required to transmute emotion into art. I’ve seen him recite his poetry on a suburban Chicago street to a rapt audience of cops and homeless people for the sheer joy of sharing words. His poems are crafted with care, with great skill, and most importantly, with love.

– Donal Ryan

Here are poems fuelled by the raw urgency of language leaping to meet the world – and here, too, are poems of a tender heart, always willing to reach out, to try to understand. Stephen James Smith is a poet of uncommon energy, utterly alive to the here and now.

– Paula Meehan

Passionate, witty, just plain great; this man’s voice hops right off the page.

– Roddy Doyle

Steve’s poems thrill me, don’t stop Steve. Steve don’t stop!

– Pat Ingoldsby

For anyone who has ever seen Stephen James Smith perform his work live it will come as no surprise to know that Fear Not is a big-hearted and generous collection of poems. In it the writer reports back to us from the frontiers of his own life and the world at large in an engagingly direct and unflinching fashion. He is there as a presence in every poem inviting the reader directly into his emotional and physical world. Stephen James Smith ignores trends or fashions and writes his own poems about his world in his own original and inimitable way.

– Sarah Clancy

Stephen James Smith is a poet whose sympathies lie with ‘the addicted and the convicted’, often responding to what he finds on life’s margins. His sharp-edged forceful language derives from his gifts as a performance poet and his fearlessness in looking into the eye of his subject matter. His poems get their charge, as well as their shape and substance, from his use of demotic rhythms, the vividness of his vernacular and his emotional directness – in the midst of the toughness of his work, he also knows where to find the tender spot.

– Gerard Smyth

Stephen James Smith is a ball of hydrogen gas that should be pumped into every household across the land. He knocks seven shades of shite out of all the usual ‘birds and bees, whey and cheese’ nonsense you find at poetry readings.

– Jinx Lennon

Lady Cassie Peregrina

Terry McDonagh

Lady Cassie Peregrina

ISBN: 9781851321605

Lady Cassie Peregrina is a story, in verse, told by a poet and his dog. The book relates the details of a journey that began when the McDonagh family adopted Cassie, a Border Collie, from the ISPCA in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo. In the ensuing months, the author and Cassie explore the lanes of his Cill Aodáin childhood and tell of their experiences from their respective standpoints. The three-piece family decide to return to Hamburg. Cassie travels with them from Mayo, via Belfast, Scotland, Newcastle, Amsterdam, to their final destination, Hamburg. Cassie needed a dog-passport and she got one before being packed into the back of a Golf estate. She is now a happy Collie in this great Hanseatic city.

Mysteries – real and imagined – are part and parcel of Terry McDonagh’s extensive travels in Europe, Asia and Australia, but there is nothing more mysterious, intense or surprising than his journey-in-verse from Cill Aodáin, County Mayo to Hamburg in the company of a border collie, Lady Cassie. This fragile peregrination began in the ISPCA centre in Ballyhaunis and, gradually, grew into a collection of poetry with three sections devoted to Cassie’s point of view and three to the poet’s. It is a venture of discovery – transforming familiar motifs and ways of seeing the ordinary. These poems encompass the natural, animal and human world, linked by the presupposition that nature and all living things are bound together by a common destiny of birth, a season of life and ultimate death. History, landscape, tragedy and destiny bond in richly-textured, immensely-sensitive work – emotion and story are fused with great lyrical artistry.

Lady Cassie Peregrina is one lucky dog. Not just because she was rescued from a life of cruelty but because she has been immortalised by Terry McDonagh in this collection. The poet takes a gamble with the anthropomorphic nature of some sections but he pulls it off successfully, for Lady Cassie is more than a mere black and white collie; she is the high priestess that allows the poet to explore memories from childhood to the ‘reptile tongue of death’. McDonagh does for Cill Aodáin what Kavanagh does for Iniskeen. Rich in local place names, myth and heritage, the poet’s early landscape is mapped out from the geography of the poems where the Pollagh River meets the Glore to form the Gweestion or ‘where dread was bottled up between here and Canavans Cross’. With his signature humour, music and underlying wisdom there are echoes of his other collections here too where Lios Árd and Raifteirí are not forgotten. Underneath the lightness are the memories of men who took their lives, ‘where a landscape holds secrets and shields for the heart’ or retelling the hardship of school where the ‘principal beat cold into warm mornings and killed speech in its prime’. Like the songs his mother taught him as a boy, these poems ‘cling and linger’.

– Geraldine Mills


With his poetry, Terry McDonagh builds a language bridge between Hamburg and Ireland – Hamburger Abendblatt

A stroke of luck to find a poet who is not only a good poet but also a good reader. Terry McDonagh’s poetry grow out of everyday situations but his thoughts and observations do not remain on the everyday surface – Kieler Nachrichten

Here are poems of thresholds: the pub, church, graveyard, shop-door, a bus stop in Hamburg. There is pathos, irony and social comment in a voice that is accessible and fond. “I can live anywhere, I think …” – Meg McNeill, Tintean, Melbourne

Liminal Blue

Theodore Deppe

Liminal Blue

ISBN: 9781851321346

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To journey into Liminal Blue is to accompany a man hungry for what he does not receive. But he receives what he never imagined, in places he never imagined he would be. With enormous artistic generosity, he allows us to be fellow travellers, allows us, if we are able, to let the mysteries, miracles, synchronicities and sorrows break on us. Like Tomas Tranströmer he gives us a glimmer of the knowledge that poetry can come from anywhere, any time, anybody, in any tongue … and we just have to listen for it. And Ted Deppe is worth listening to again and again.

– Kate Newmann

Liminal Blue, Theodore Deppe’s sixth collection, comprises twelve shorter poems, a lyric essay on memory, train horns and loss, and a book-length poem that begins with a swim in the North Atlantic after his father’s death. ‘Little Colloquium by the Sea’ is a wide-ranging meditation on the thresholds between land and sea, sleep and waking and the living and the dead. Set mostly on the coast of north Connemara, ‘Little Colloquium’ begins as an elegy for his parents and ends up celebrating the lives of many others, including Philip Levine, Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Dermot Healy and W.G. Sebald.

Praise for Ted Deppe:

Deppe’s scrupulous attention is tender, uncompromising, and full of a rare quality of moral weight.

– Mark Doty

Ted Deppe’s poems, which a reader might admire for their narrative gift and the beauty and force of their language alone, also look unflinchingly into the heart of human suffering while equally acknowledging the joy and peace that are possible in our lives. These poems, which chart Deppe’s peripatetic life in Ireland and the United States, trade the lack of a permanent home for an at-homeness in the moment.

– Robert Cording

In language lit with the brilliance of icons, Deppe illuminates the lives of those we might disregard, as well as the gentle and damaged terrain of family history.

– Lynda Hull

Deppe mediates his subjects with a Chekhovian eye and heart in these extraordinary poems.

– Stephen Dunn