The April Poetry Book Group will be meeting via Zoom
Monday, April 19th • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM IST via Zoom
Sinéad Morrissey has published six celebrated collections of poetry. This Selected Poems reveals how she has developed formally and thematically from the precocious and carefully considered first book, There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), to the most recent and highly praised, On Balance (2017).
There is throughout Morrissey's work a civic dimension: her imagination is dynamically peopled, as are her various landscapes and sense of history, and she is drawn to the conflicts and contradictions at the heart of all human intention and inquiry, as well as to celebrating individual women and men and the things they create or unleash. There is always a paradox which she enters and explores, making it luminous but never resolving it. For Morrissey, each poem becomes a word-space in which readers are set free on their own journey of discovery.
'Northern Irish poetry looks like it's about to take centre stage again, and the woman leading the charge is Sinead Morrissey.'
– Cork Evening Echo Best Books of 2017
A game-changing volume of poems in her shining career.'
– Damian Smyth, Head of Drama and Literature at Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast Telegraph
An Irish Times Book of the Year 2017
'Sinead Morrissey's On Balance is a book of poetry that embraces the art of fiction, and that makes you think about the world being off kilter, of suspension, of what might be required to have balance. Amazing. And the deserving winner of the Forward Prize this year.'
– Scottish Makar Jackie Kay, Herald Scotland Books of the Year 2017
'Sinead Morrissey's On Balance was a worthy winner of the 2017 Forward Prize. A celebration of resourcefulness, from motherhood to the first woman to build an aeroplane, its language is as poised as the acrobats it catches.'
– Jeremy Noel-Tod, from the Sunday Times Book of the Year 2017
'The poem Nativity, if it stood alone, makes Sinead Morrissey's On Balance a sweet Christmas choice, but it is only one of a number of thought-provoking poems in her sixth, prize-winning collection. Morrissey floats the reader glimpses of desires unmet, memories still fluid; the stories swim beyond the edge of the page, buoyed up by possibility.'
– Hilary Mantel, from the Guardian 'Books of the Year' 2017
About the Author
Raised in Belfast, she was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where she took BA and PhD degrees, and won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 1990. She has published four collections of poetry: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), Between Here and There (2001), The State of the Prisons (2005), and Through the Square Window (2009), the second, third and fourth of which were shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. After periods living in Japan and New Zealand she now lives in Belfast, where she has been writer-in-residence at Queen's University, Belfast and currently lectures.
Her collection, The State of the Prisons, was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award in 2006. In November 2007, she received a Lannan Foundation Fellowship for "distinctive literary merit and for demonstrating potential for continued outstanding work". Her poem "Through the Square Window" won first prize in the 2007 British National Poetry Competition. Her collection, Through the Square Window, won the Poetry Now Award for 2010.
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