Poetry Book Group - Rise, Elaine Feeney

March 2022 Poetry

The March Poetry Book Group will be meeting via Zoom

Monday, March 21st • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM GMT via Zoom
Session open to all: no registration required.

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The fourth collection of poems from Irish poet Elaine Feeney. Feeney is considered part of a growing band of new young political Irish poets.

“….comparable with Beckett and to a lesser degree James Joyce (though the mention of a girl called Molly who has her breasts fondled is quintessentially Joyce). It’s vivid stuff, with brittle poetic apparitions that you bring your sympathies to. This all-speaking voice appears to command our attention, through its fragility and urgency in such a telling way.” 
— The Sprout

"Feeney’s poems have a pounding physical presence yet they run away with the mind."
— Mike McCormack

"Elaine Feeney is a poet for today—a bold, direct voice unafraid to speak to global politics past and present, to men, to Ireland, to the multi-edged experience of being woman, body, mother, daughter, worker. In Rise, Feeney unabashedly excavates personal and political trauma and experience with a frank tenderness and a mighty imagination, her signature scalpel-like lines boldly laying open the many-storied private worlds of the poet’s mind. A poet of deep intelligence, who implicitly understands the interconnectedness of everything, in Rise Feeney graciously maps out those connections for us. Whether walking through Dublin or lying on an operating table, imagining herself a Degas dancer or arguing in a Belfast bar, Feeney’s empathic and honest verse is both a documentation of and a transgressive counter-narrative to the accepted “norms” around her. Audacious, rhythmic, and brilliant, this collection is a triumph, confirming what many of us already know—that if anyone can open our eyes to the world, it’s Elaine Feeney."
— Katie Raissian

"In the jumbled up world and words of a near-death experience, Elaine Feeney has found the perfect pitch for her new profound poetry. She continues to explore the fragility of now, but she never loses sight of the inhumanity of our recent past, as in ‘Harvest’, which relates to the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, or in the state’s treatment of women in ‘History Lesson’ and ‘Wrongheaded’. Feeney really de es what we know to be the formal look of a poem and her risk-taking and courage certainly pays off. In Rise she wields endless poems of resistance and vigour."
— Rita Ann Higgins

"Elaine Feeney is the freshest, most engaging, and certainly the most provocative poet to come out of Ireland in the last decade... a very important Irish voice."
— Fionnula Flanagan

"Her poetry is a full-blooded assertion of womanhood with no holds barred and de nitely no apology."
— Des Kenny

"Extraordinary... in the world of Kate Tempest meets Warsan Shire and we’ll throw in Tom McIntyre for the rural in uences... Brilliant.” 
— RTÉ Radio 1’s Arena

"Out of a bog of Dylan, Degas, & Heaney, up from the wizened path of female poeisis that once stretched, miserly, between Dickinson’s solitude and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, rises Elaine Feeney, with poems that tell history like the gossip it really is, giving body to a world of moments that in this late age still struggle to be told. Reading RISE has resurrected my sense of sound, of the dignity of all labor, and the mystic, enervating work of motherhood and girlhood and even rhyme. I’m so grateful for it."
— Ariana Reines

Elaine Feeney

About the Author
Elaine Feeney
 is an award-winning writer from Galway. Rise is her third full poetry collection following Where’s Katie? (2010) and The Radio was Gospel (2014), all published by Salmon. She published her first chapbook, Indiscipline, with Maverick Press in 2007. Feeney’s work is translated into over a dozen languages and is widely published. In 2016, Liz Roche Company commissioned Feeney to write for a national production to witness and record through dance, film and narrative, the physical experience of being a woman and bodily choice in Ireland. Entitled Wrongheaded, a film of the same name, directed by Mary Wycherley, accompanies the production. It premiered at Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival and was shortlisted for London’s Underwire Film Festival Prize and Bucharest Dance Film Festival Prize 2017.

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