A new anthology featuring ‘poetry for the time’ from artists from the Midlands and beyond, ‘Chasing Shadows’, launches August 19 at The Green, Edgeworthstown.
Published by Lapwing Publications, the idea for the anthology, funded by Creative Ireland Longford, is to feature contemporary national and international poets.
About 300 poets submitted nearly 700 works, 93 of which were blindly chosen by award-winning poet Noel Monaghan
“We were overwhelmed by the response which shows how much poetry is alive today, not just in Ireland but around the world,” says Shelley Corcoran of Creative Ireland Longford.
“Noel Monaghan selected the poetry for the anthology blindly, he didn’t know any names, and we received works from all over the Midlands and the island of Ireland. It also includes international writers.
Shelley says the poems vary by subject, ranging from the Covid pandemic to nature and the environment. “There is a real mix of everything”.
Westmeath award-winning poet John Ennis, who edited the Poetry Ireland Review and served on Poetry Ireland’s board for eleven years, as well as co-editor of three anthologies, says Chasing Shadows is a “poetry mash-up”, of which his own poem “Bester” is one.
“These poems, which arrived by the hundreds from all parts of Ireland to India, were collected under the watchful eyes of Mary Carleton Reynolds, Creative Ireland Longford, Shelley Corcoran, compiler, and Noel Monahan, editor, who has dedicated his years to facilitating creative writing in the Midlands,” said Noel.
“Poets featured in the mix include established names like Irish-Australian Nathanael O’Reilly, Mary Melvin Geoghegan, Eileen Casey, Gearoid O’Brien, Joan McBreen, Patrick Deeley and John Liddy as well as other young poets who are making their mark these days., Leah Keane, Siobhan Spear, David Fallon and SJ Delaney.
“It is impossible in the space of these lines to make any real sense of the richness of the variety of poems,” adds Noel.
“Each reader will bring their own constructed perceptions to the poems. The endangered nature of Pauline Flood! is both a two-page lament, a “rage against” and a poem of festive couplets in fourteen years and more, rhyming, counter-rhyming, with a certain consonance, against the disappearance of endangered species, the curlew, the quail and corncrake. . .Hare . . .and rabbit, too, decreasing their time in the clover fields”.
“Here’s another example of some of the lines that resonated with me, Climbing Croghan Hill by Pauline McNamee;
“You took me on your shoulders…
“There’s a good crowd on the hill today. . . you whistle
. . . sink deep into your chair next to the stove. . .
Now I stand alone on the step out the back door
Watch pilgrims climb Croghan Hill.
A total of twenty-eight contributing poets read for the launch.