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Following his acclaimed prose memoir The Invisible Prison, Pat Boran’s first full-length collection of poems in over a decade sees him explore questions of love, belonging and connection, recognising that small and great challenges alike may be entry points to new beginnings, and that the instinct to sing and praise has never been more relevant or crucial. Despite echoing the promise of religious belief, The Next Life of the title is entirely to be found in the here-and-now and the near-to-hand, in the play of sparrows on a lawn, the death-exploring game of his two small children (‘Let’s Die’), and in the trust and faith of lovers whispering together “words never uttered before”.

‘Boran surveys death, childhood, and the plentiful literary resources of his own backyard in his latest collection of poems. His language is simple and apt, easing the reader into vivid images of his Irish setting and outlining the roles of father and child with charming wit. Boran treats subjects as grave as mortality and faith with calm, musical elegance.’
World Literature Today

“Lucid, limpid – Pat Boran bears comparison with Tranströmer in that he too often makes a whole out of a pair of alien concepts. Except the pupil, if he is such, here exceeds the master, grabbing a notion and our hand and taking us running with it… At times his poems, Girl Gardening for instance, verge on the simply beautiful, become — a description rarely applied to poetry itself — sheer poetry.”
— Sam Smith, The Journal (UK)

ISBN 978 1 906614 553 Paperback
216 x 140 mm, 102 pp
September 2012

Additional information

Weight .15 kg
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm


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Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781906614553
  • Size: : 140 x 216 mm
  • Pages: : 102 pp
  • Published: : 2012

About The Author


PAT BORAN was born in Portlaoise, Ireland in 1963 and currently lives in Dublin where he works as an editor and broadcaster. He has held a number of posts as Writer-in-Residence with libraries and third level institutions and has published five full-length collections of poetry as well as a New and Selected volume. His New and Selected Poems, with an introduction by the late Dennis O'Driscoll, was published in 2005 and reissued in 2007. Editions have appeared in Italian, Hungarian and Macedonian. Fiction publications include short story collection, Strange Bedfellows (1991) and his children's book, All the Way from China (1999), a finalist for the Bisto Book of the Year Award. Non-fiction includes the popular writers' handbook The Portable Creative Writing Workshop (revised and updated in 2013) and A Short History of Dublin (2000). His warmly received memoir The Invisible Prison: Scenes from an Irish Childhood, was published in December 2009 and reprinted a month later. A former editor of Poetry Ireland Review and presenter of The Poetry Programme and The Enchanted Way on RTÉ Radio 1, he has edited numerous anthologies, among them Wingspan: A Dedalus Sampler (2006), Flowing, Still: Irish Poets on Irish Poetry (2009), The Bee-Loud Glade (2009), Shine On, poetry and prose in support of those affected by mental ill health and, with Gerard Smyth, If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, the 2014 Dublin: Once City, One Book choice. A member of Aosdána, he received the Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award in the US in 2008. (see also REVIEW EXCERPTS "A writer of great tenderness and lyricism" — Agenda (UK) "A kind of lateral visionary; his poems are never only about what they seem to be about" — Bernard O'Donoghue, The Irish Times

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