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Best of Irish Poetry 2010
Editor: Matthew Sweeney
Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition
Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes
Munster Literature Centre
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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
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