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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Editor: Matthew Sweeney

 

 

Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan

 

 

Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition

 

 

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Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
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SIOBHAN CAMPBELL

 

Siobhan Campbell

Siobhan Campbell's third full collection is Cross-Talk, has just been published by Seren Press and was declared '(a) cunning sideways take on the pastoral' by the Irish Times.  She was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award for That Water Speaks in Tongues (Templar Poetry). Other books include The Permanent Wave and The Cold that Burns (Blackstaff Press). Siobhan is a Principal Lecturer at Kingston University London. Her work has appeared in journals including Poetry, Agenda, Magma, Wasafiri  and Poetry Ireland and she has won awards in the National Poetry Competition as well as in the Troubadour and Wigtown competitions. She is anthologised in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing and forthcoming in Identity Parade, New British and Irish Poets (Spring 2010, Bloodaxe).

 

 

 

Clew Bay from the Reek

Second Prize, 2010 Gregory O'Donoghue Competition

 

No way to pace yourself or plan a rest.

Each ridge peak declares itself a fake.

So on, over fences of chicken net

that mark out fields of sheep dropping and rock.

We may be on the wrong side of the stack.

Each patch is someone’s care but we are glad

to find some sagging wire, paths worn down

by pilgrims; like us, not the barefoot kind.       

At last the top. A tough stone chapel

and a saint’s hard bed. And look, the cloud

beneath breaks open to begin a bay,

blue and green as earth seen from our

nearest star, perfect as paint. Panting

we count the islands in its keep, one

for each day of the year, though some tiny,

just a nest, a pair of gannets maybe—

not that we can see them from up here but

think, and of the salt clams beneath

clamping cool suckers to the planted rocks

or oysters, growing their cold pearl hearts

where even now a stone might lodge to rub

itself into a keepsake of love. Pots of lobster,

meat of the sea, boiled from life, slathered in

butter as a feast;  all this we see

and separate out from our group to feel

how things are shifting from this height

how we’re lifted out of ourselves until one,

young and without fear begins to whoop

a clear, felt sound, a rare high tremor.

She whoops and waves her arms as if

to take it all, gather it in against whatever comes—

false ridges that may yet hide proper peaks,

she whoops and whoops for every one of us

and how we are discovered by a reek.

 

 

©2010 Siobhan Campbell

 

 

Author Links

 

Audio of Campbell poems at 'Poetcasting'

Irish Times review of Campbell's latest book, Cross Talk

Campbell at Poetry Foundation

More information about Cross Talk at Seren Books

 

 

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