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Two Exciting Debuts

Two Exciting Debuts

AT DEDALUS PRESS, as well as publishing books by some of the best known names in Irish poetry, we've long dedicated ourselves to working with the rising generation of writers, many of whom are equally as comfortable on the stage as on the page.

We're particularly pleased now to be issuing the debut collections of two of the most admired of the younger poets now publishing and performing across the country. Erin Fornoff and Elaine Cosgrove very much have their own distinctive voices, but what they share is a passion, an urgency and a belief in the power of the word, spoken and written, that promises much for their respective futures.

Small Town Synaesthesia

Erin Fornoff

At the station, slicks of oil tie-dye the puddles
in the concrete, below the pumps, as they tick over
the litres and gallons. They reflect the sun,
turn it wild, hold it in the cracked dips of the ground.

When he balances the till at the end of the shift
the numbers throb coloured across the spectrum;
they cast a lemon scent when the totals align.

The streetlight haze makes him taste salt.
Sneakers hum, make a pale green sound
as players fight for the rebound.

Colour: his secret language. Smell and taste and noise:
his tangled fluency. Can he grow to see his unruly filter
as a gift, beyond affliction? Turn his own faulty wiring
into some exalted circuitry?

The door chimes in the town’s one restaurant.
It blooms a purple sheen behind his eyes, and dims
as the noise fades. They know him when he walks in.

He’s been hanging out at this same gas station,
drinking this same beer, having this same chat,
since growing pains disheveled his sleep. He’s mastered
the edit of his own thoughts.

Small towns remake teenagers
into polished stones, tumbled by peer pressure,
grey as concrete. Every sound dances an acid trip
across his brain. He wonders what shapes
the train whistle makes when it blows
in other places. He is oil catching sunlight.

Sonnet

Elaine Cosgrove

What does the failed heart know anymore?
Does it know to live on until it dies;
to stop being a balled-up fury
of wringing hands that bathe in salt to wrinkles?
What does the breaker know of the lupine days
paid for on a three-bedroom at minus one,
minus you; Canary-coloured walls ear
the bounce-back of silence over dinner.
What does the connection do when it’s gone?
How do the lines fill up their hollow gaps
with new wires? Will the feedback from the
permanent interruptions make you turn off the sound?
    This from your breaker: learn to make
    a joy that’s all your own and make it very loud.

The Deep Heart's Core

The Deep Heart’s Core

In our new anthology, The Deep Heart’s Core: Irish Poets Revisit a Touchstone Poem, some 100 poets accept the invitation to revisit a favourite, key or touchstone poem of their own, and offer a short commentary on same — as they might at a live event.

The result is an illuminating, thought-provoking and wholly engaging volume, a unique anthology as selected by the poets themselves, and a rare glimpse into the thinking, feeling and craft behind the finished poems.

The Deep Heart’s Core is both an ideal introduction to contemporary Irish poetry for the general reader and a handbook for the aspiring practitioner or student.

The Deep Heart’s Core is edited by Pat Boran and Eugene O’Connell and features a foreword by Bernard O’Donoghue.

For further information click here.


LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS

Graham Allen: ‘Military Hill’ – Tara Bergin: ‘This Is Yarrow’ – 
Eavan Boland: ‘That The Science Of Cartography Is Limited’ – Dermot Bolger: ‘While We Sleep’ – Pat Boran: ‘Waving’ – Eva Bourke: ‘Evening Near Letterfrack’ – Heather Brett: ‘Bankrupt’ – Paddy Bushe: ‘After Love’ – Rosemary Canavan: ‘Crab Apples’ – Moya Cannon: ‘Chauvet’ – Ciaran Carson: ‘Turn Again’ – Paul Casey: ‘Exile’ – Philip Casey: ‘Hamburg Woman’s Song’ – Sarah Clancy: ‘Homecoming Queen’ – Michael Coady: ‘Assembling The Parts’ – Enda Coyle-Greene: ‘Metathesis’ – Tony Curtis: ‘Bench’ – Pádraig J. Daly: ‘Complaint’ – Kathy D’Arcy: ‘Probable Misuse Of Shamanism’ – Michael Davitt: ‘Déirc’ / ‘Alms’ – Gerald Dawe: ‘The Water Table’ – John F. Deane: ‘The Poem of the Goldfinch’ – Mary Dorcey: ‘Trying on for Size’ – Theo Dorgan: ‘On a Day Far From Now’ – Cal Doyle: ‘Sirens’ – Martina Evans: ‘The Day My Cat Spoke to Me’ – 
John FitzGerald: ‘The Collectors’ – Gabriel Fitzmaurice: ‘Dad’ – Anne-Marie Fyfe: ‘The Red Aeroplane’ – Matthew Geden: ‘Photosynthesis’ – Rody Gorman: ‘Imirce’ / ‘Bodytransfermigration’ – Mark Granier: ‘Grip Stick’ – Vona Groarke: from ‘Or to Come’ – Kerry Hardie: ‘Life Gone Away is Called Death’ – Maurice Harmon: from ‘The Doll with Two Backs’ – James Harpur: ‘The White Silhouette’ – Michael Hartnett: ‘That Actor Kiss’ – Eleanor Hooker: ‘Nightmare’ – Breda Joy: ‘November Morning’ – Brendan Kennelly: from ‘Antigone’ – Patrick Kehoe: ‘The Nearness of Blue’ – Helen Kidd: ‘Sunspill’ – Noel King: ‘Black and Tan’ – Thomas Kinsella: ‘Marcus Aurelius’ – Jessie Lendennie: ‘Quay Street, Galway’ – John Liddy: ‘Scarecrow’ – Alice Lyons: ‘Arab Map of the World With the South at the Top’ – Aifric MacAodha: ‘Gabháil Syrinx’ / ‘The Taking of Syrinx’ – Jennifer Matthews: ‘Work Out’ – John McAuliffe: ‘Today’s Imperative’ – Joan McBreen: ‘My Father’ – Thomas McCarthy: ‘The Garden of Sempervirens’ – Philip McDonagh: ‘Water is Best’ – Afric McGlinchey: ‘Do not lie to a lover’ – Iggy McGovern: ‘Knight Errant’ – Medbh McGuckian: ‘Aunts’ – John Mee: ‘Travel Light’ – Paula Meehan: ‘The Moons’ – John Moriarty: ‘Faust’ – Aidan Murphy: ‘Touching Parallels’ – Gerry Murphy: ‘Poem in One Breath’ – Madelaine Nerson Mac Namara: ‘Atlas’ – Caitríona Ní Chléirchín: ‘Feiliceán bán’ / ‘White butterfly’ – Nuala Ní Chonchúir: ‘Tatú’ / ‘Tattoo’ – Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: ‘The Copious Dark’ – Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh: ‘Deireadh na Feide’ / ‘Last Blast’ – Áine Ní Ghlinn: ‘Tú Féin is Mé Féin’ / ‘Yourself and Myself’ – Doireann Ní Ghríofa: ‘From Richmond Hill’ – Mary Noonan: ‘The Moths’ – Julie O’Callaghan: from ‘Edible Anecdotes’ – Eugene O’Connell: ‘Doubting Thomas’ – John O’Donnell: ‘The Shipping Forecast’ – Mary O’Donnell: ‘The World is Mine’ – Bernard O’Donoghue: ‘The Iron Age Boat at Caumatruish’ – 
Liz O’Donoghue: ‘Suspended Animation’ – 
Mary O’Donoghue: ‘My Daughter in Winter Costume’ – Sheila O’Hagan: ‘September the Fourth’ – Nessa O’Mahony: ‘Lament for a Shy Man’ – Mary O’Malley: ‘The Gulls at Fastnet’ – Leanne O’Sullivan: ‘The Station Mass’ – Karl Parkinson: ‘A Love Letter to Reinaldo Arenas’ – Paul Perry: ‘In the Spring of My Forty-First Year’ – Billy Ramsell: ‘Complicated Pleasures’ – Gerard Reidy: ‘Slievemore Deserted Village’ – Maurice Riordan: ‘Badb’ – Mark Roper: ‘Firelight’ – Gabriel Rosenstock: ‘Ophelia an Phiarsaigh’ / ‘Pearse’s Ophelia’ – Colm Scully: ‘What News, Centurions?’ – John W. Sexton: ‘Sixfaces and the Woman of Nothing’ – Eileen Sheehan: ‘My Father Long Dead’ – Peter Sirr: ‘After a Day in the History of the City’ – Gerard Smyth: ‘Taken’ – Matthew Sweeney: ‘I Don’t Want to Get Old’ – Richard Tillinghast: ‘And And And’ –  Jessica Traynor: ‘Scene from a Poor Town’ – John Wakeman: ‘The Head of Orpheus’ – Eamonn Wall: ‘Four Stern Faces/South Dakota’ – William Wall: ‘Alter Ego Quasimodo’ – Grace Wells: ‘Pioneer’ – Sandra Ann Winters: ‘Death of Alaska’ – Joseph Woods: ‘Sailing to Hokkaido’ – Macdara Woods: ‘Fire and Snow and Carnevale’ – Vincent Woods: ‘Homeric Laughter’ – Enda Wyley: ‘Magpie’.

Incorrigibly Spain

Incorrigibly Spain

Keith Payne's letter from Galicia, first published in The Level Crossing, introduces two of the new wave of Galician poets.



World is crazier and more of it than we think,

Incorrigibly plural …

IT WAS AS IF MacNeice had predicted what was happening in front of me on the screen last night. I was sat at my desk in Vigo correcting some Galician translations, a half dozen tabs open on the desktop as I clicked back and forth between dictionaries, verb tables and the newsfeed coming from the exit polls for Spain’s general election: the two-party system was over, things had changed suddenly.

            … I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various

  ‘Spain is Different!’ Manuel Fraga announced in the late sixties as he began to package Scandinavian and British tourists off to the Costa del Sol. Like his boss, Fraga was Galician and was Franco’s Minister for Tourism. Just forty years on and the PP, the conservative party that Fraga founded, was finally realising that things were indeed, very different, but not how they had imagined. Ada Colau, an anti-eviction activist, has become Barcelona’s first woman mayor. Manuela Carmena, a retired judge, defender of workers’ rights and of detainees during the dictatorship, is the first independent mayor of Madrid. I hummed a few bars of Old England is Dying, and listened for the Medusa howls of Spain’s elite as Podemos, Equo, Barcelona en Comú and En Marea (The Turning Tide)washed over Old Castile, and Fraga’s party were left ‘not waving, but drowning.’

Waves of emigrants have been leaving Galicia since boats were first floated. According to the Leabhar Gabhála, it was Galicians, Breogan’s sons and grandsons, who were the last to populate Ireland. You know them as the Milesians. In my partner’s family there is exactly five years each between her mother, her uncle and her aunt. A common pattern in Galicia where it took five years to make enough money for a return ticket from the Americas before going back, a son or daughter conceived just before you sailed away. Su’s family all recognized Frank O’Connor’s ‘My Oedipus Complex’ when I told them the story one Friday night at the house. Almost every house in the region has a ship’s trunk somewhere where you will still get a whiff of Brazilian coffee when you open the lid and stick your head in. For the most part it was the men who emigrated, waves of them, and the women were left behind to raise the family, mind the house and manage the land, if land there was; it’s written all over their hands. Since the Nineteenth-Century Galician Revival, the figure of the stoic, weeping Galician woman stood on the cliffs has been forged in iron in the collective memory.

But the wave is turning. A wave of young Galician poets, women mostly, have reimagined themselves as something other than that tragic figure on the cliffs weeping and wringing her hands helplessly as the ships sail away. She may still be found on the cliffs from where María Do Cebreiro writes back that ‘The wind puts across the body’s cut / in so soft a manner it is no longer  / an invasion or even a sign of / ownership.’ She celebrates that ‘the joy of skin / is in its loosening.’ Blown free as it were, Do Cebreiro is joined from the cliffs and the streets, the cafes and bars, from bed and balcony, from ‘Picking apples in Tolstoy’s Garden,’ from New York’s ‘Sing-Sing Prison,’ from ‘Midtown Manhattan’, ‘The Charles Bridge’, a ‘Taxi in Lima’ and the ‘The Cotton fields of Thessaly’ by her contemporaries Yolanda Castaño, Chus Pato, Lupe Gómez, and Elvira Ribeiro among many others. Some of whom send me back and forth and back and forth again and again through the pages of Servando Pérez Barreiro’s Diccionario Completo Galego-Inglés as my finger digital clicks back to the exit polls that ticker-tape down the screen. A change is washing over Spain and as these poets write the wave, I allow myself a little drunkenness on their variorum edition.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay as we supposed.

MacNeice visited Spain in 1936 with Auden, and when asked which side he supported in the Civil War responded: ‘I support the Valencia Government in Spain. Normally I would only support a cause because I hoped to get something out of it. Here my reason is stronger […]’ To the same question, Beckett responded ‘¡UP THE REPUBLIC!’

 

Maria do Cebreiro
Yolanda Castaño
Keith Payne

I DON'T KNOW IF MacNeice made it up to Galicia where Laurie Lee first landed in Spain and from where he began his walk that would eventually walk him right into the Spanish Civil War. His first port after leaving England was Vigo: ‘I landed in a town submerged in wet, green sunlight and smelling of the waste of the sea […] The drowned men rose from the pavements and stretched their arms, lit cigarettes and shook the night from their clothes […] and strange, vivid girls went down the streets, with hair like coils of dripping tar and large mouths, red and savage.’ I can’t speak for their hair, but these poets from Galicia are as savage and vivid in their poems as Lee’s somewhat seasick imagination. Poets who are toppling the Royal Galician Academy’s bookshelves and emptying its Royal Members’ pockets, with Yolanda Castaño’s taunting that ‘You need to frig the alphabet / till it spurts unlikely links.’ I click back again to the exit polls as they come to a close and as the joy and horror from the talking heads staggers down the screen I think of Paddy Galvin and the story of his mother daubing UP THE REPUBLIC! in red on their gable wall and his father then washing it off as the Irish Christian Front marched down the Coal Quay in support of Franco’s Spain.

January 13th

I’m just in from the bakery where the paper on the counter tells me they’ve just announced Patxi Lopez of the PSOE as the new speaker in the Spanish Congress. Rajoy’s PP stayed in their seats while the young conservative Ciudadanos voted with the old socialists PSOE to exclude Podemos in what looks to be a prelude waltz to a new government of the old ways.

Tonight, around nine hundred wolves will pack hunt through the Galician mountains. Galicia is one of the last regions in Spain still home to wolf packs. Su’s village ‘Traspielas’ contains ‘tras’ the preposition ‘across’ or ‘through,’ and the word ‘piel’ skin, and it was suggested to me that Traspielas was once a trading post for wolf pelts. Recently I was brought up the mountain to a  ‘foxo dos lobos’, a wolf trap of drystone walls that opens hundreds of yards apart and graduates pincer-like down into a 12-foot pit into which the wolves were hunted. When the packs grew in number they had to abandon the mountain and come down to the villages to feed and so their numbers would be culled till a balance was struck between pack and village and they would stay once again in the mountains. Down here among the translations, María Do Cebreiro’s ‘The Blood’ reveals that ‘humans are not animals of reason / nor animals that speak. We are animals of rupture, / of the temporal breach.’ Later, in The She-Wolf, she writes  ‘The she-wolf gives milk / to the brothers who kill each other. // ‘She will not claw the cobblestones. / Far from the churchyard, far from meaning / She feeds the brothers. Yes, above all else / she feeds them to death.’

Suddenly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

I have no idea what’s going to happen in the coming months and years here on the peninsula. There will be more elections, without a doubt more corruption, there will also be more hope, more citizen breaches, there will be more wolves. I click across and see that there’s an anthology of Galician poetry to be launched in Madrid this week; Punto de Ebullición, Boiling Point. So yes, there will be more poets and there will be more poems and I will be here reading and listening and feeling them all ‘on my tongue, on my eyes, on my ears and in the palms of my hand;’ incorrigibly Spain.

Vigo, January 13th, 2016



Yolanda Castaño and María do Cebreiro are two of the poets appearing in Six Galician Poets, translations by Keith Payne (Arc Publications, UK, 2016). This article, and accompanying poems, were first published in issue 1 of The Level Crossing (Dedalus Press, 2016).

RECYCLING

And the quicksilver gone from the mirror.

From the hand feeling for the trace
I make the best of jaded pages;
the black ink shows through the flip side
and I think
this could also be writing;
scribbling new words while other
earlier words
seep through the page.


Yolanda Castaño

Trans. Keith Payne
From: A Segunda Lingua / The second language
(Fundación Caixa Galicia, 2013)

THE BLOOD

The woman wakes in the middle of the night the moment someone says:
– Pierce yourself with a needle and tell me the colour of your blood.
– My blood is neither blue nor red – she responds.
Then it slowly dawns on her there is no way humanly possible
to watch without being watched. The following day
she dreams of eating stones that are easy enough to stomach.
That she moves by night, naked calm, like the women
in Delvaux’s painting. That someone leaves a red cloth
under their pillow and can see the face of their future lover,
and the pair condense the time of their life into a dream second,
holding over almost all the caresses and conversations.
Blood is dark and dense, it has
the integrity of a solid substance, an integrity that
– almost exclusively for their colour – certain tints
and sediments of wine take on. Unlike mothers,
she gives separate space to blood and semen. She knows
there’s no end to the power of that severing,
the absolution of keeping distance. That’s why
she is wary of the sacred powers of suckling, yet knows
the place of milk in the power of wheat. The desert
is endless and its children are not yours. And so
she is not afraid, and at night in dreams, a faceless figure
appears, not threatening (a friendly presence) and so  
she never forgets humans are not animals of reason
nor animals that speak. We are animals of rupture,
of the temporal breach. Able to love anything
we want with the intensity of every given moment.
She places a magnet and a clover flower
over the trine of light the stars compose for them.
She will meet his image in the quirks,
in the drop of blood the faceless voice
bid her draw in her dream. By day, the faceless
voice returns to its body, she knows and is
happy there will be no more possession,
she doesn’t want him to remember or yearn for her,
just let him live in the heat of her skin, just as
she dreams her birth in her body’s every moment.


María Do Cebreiro

Trans. Keith Payne
From O deserto / The desert (Apiario Editora, A Coruña, 2015)

Paula Meehan, reading and in conversation

Paula Meehan, reading and in conversation

To coincide with the launch of her new collection of poems, Geomantic, on November 14, we link here to a recording of a wide-ranging conversation between the poet and UCD Adjunct Professor Jody Allen Randolph, in an event that took place at The National Library of Ireland, in April 2016, during the course of which Meehan reads and discusses many of the poems in the book.

The Level Crossing, issue 1

The Level Crossing, issue 1

The Level Crossing 1 - contentsWe’re finally there with issue 1 of  THE LEVEL CROSSING (see HERE).

THE LEVEL CROSSING is the new occasional journal of poetry and poetry-related prose from Dedalus Press. This first issue includes new work by poets from Ireland, the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, Poland and Korea, among others, poets already associated with the press as well as more than a dozen writers with no previous connection.

The issue features a report by Keith Payne on the new Galician poetry, Gerard Smyth on B.H. Fairchild, Vincent Woods’ writing on Macdara Woods’ new book, Music From The Big Tent, and Pat Boran on the attractions of haiku and landscape.

There are new poems by Catherine Ann Cullen, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Jane Williams, Tom Matthews, Hanyong Jeong and James Silas Rogers, among others.

Gerry Murphy writes about being a poet / lifeguard, and Grace Wells considers the poem ‘Selkie Moment’ from her recent collection, Fur.

There’s a sample of contributions – by Karl Parkinson, Jennifer Matthews, Paul Perry and Jessica Traynor – from the forthcoming anthology The Deep Heart’s Core: Irish Poets Revisit Their ‘Touchstone’ Poems.

And we’re delighted to present our feature on ‘Poems of Place’, the poems being drawn from over 900 submissions received in a recent open call for submissions.

In putting together THE LEVEL CROSSING, we set ourselves the target of producing a magazine that, in content, feel and attitude, was positive, outward-looking and, not to overstate the case, didn’t look like it was produced in the 19th century. For a first issue, we’re happy and excited with the result but can see lots of ways we could further improve. With a bit of luck, we’ll get that chance: after all, the barriers come down, but then the barriers also go up again!

Poetry Submissions Welcome

Poetry Submissions Welcome

Dedalus Press is currently accepting online poetry submissions.

Irish poets, as well as those born elsewhere but currently resident in Ireland, may submit a book-length work (or a significant part of same) between now and 31 July 2016, via the DEDALUS PRESS SUBMITTABLE page. (Formerly the Press could accept only hard copy submissions sent by post.)

For detailed information, consult our SUBMISSIONS guidelines before preparing your manuscript, and then follow the link to the DEDALUS PRESS SUBMITTABLE page.

THE LEVEL CROSSING Seeking Poems of Place

THE LEVEL CROSSING Seeking Poems of Place

(NB: SUBMISSIONS for this publication are now closed. We received an unprecedented number of submissions, from all over the world, and will now get down to reading through them carefully and making our selection. Thanks to all of those who submitted work and helped us spread the word.)

***

Dedalus Press is looking for (previously unpublished) poems for a feature in its new occasional journal, THE LEVEL CROSSING.

Poems on the subject of place (home place, strange place, imagined place …) should run to a maximum of 20 lines and may be in any form. Prose poems are welcome. Poets may submit up to three poems each, but no poet will have more than one poem chosen for publication.

We pay a one-time fee of €30 for each poem published.

The feature will appear in THE LEVEL CROSSING, number 1, in both print and download editions (the latter available free from the Dedalus website) in April/May 2016; a selection will also feature on the Dedalus blog at the same time. All other rights remain with the authors.

Poems must be received by end March 2016 (after which no further submissions can be considered). Submissions may be made only through Submittable.com. No correspondence will be entered into regarding submissions, and we are not in a position to offer feedback on unsuccessful submissions, but we do look forward to reading the poems.

Poems may be submitted by visiting the Submittable below and following the instructions: all you have to do is fill in a brief Contact form; upload a Word document or similar text-only file, etc. To ensure a fair and unbiased reading of all submitted work, the author’s name should NOT appear on the uploaded text file but only in the online Contact form.

Feel free to post this call for submissions elsewhere. Poetry Matters: Spread the Word.


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