July 09 , 2009



?Geis’ is a word from Irish mythology meaning a supernatural taboo or injunction on behaviour. In her long-awaited third collection, Caitríona O’Reilly examines the ‘geis’ in all of its psychological, emotional, and moral suggestiveness: exploring the prohibitions and compulsions under which we sometimes place ourselves, or find ourselves placed. In poems that range from the searingly personal to the more playfully abstract and philosophical, O’Reilly’s characteristic imaginative range and linguistic verve are everywhere in evidence. These are poems that question our sometimes tenuous links with the world, with others, and even with ourselves, but which ultimately celebrate the richness of experience and the power of language to affirm it. Geis is Caitríona O’Reilly’s third collection, following her critically acclaimed earlier books, The Nowhere Birds (2001), shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and The Sea Cabinet (2006), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation which was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. ‘An exploration of disturbance and alienation…O’Reilly can be among the best we have’ – Fiona Sampson, The Irish Times, on The Sea Cabinet. ‘The most startlingly accomplished début collection by any Irish poet since Paul Muldoon’s New Weather in 1973’ – Patrick Crotty, The Irish Times, on The Nowhere Birds. ‘Whether enthralled or appalled, she beholds and magnifies the world and its strange creatures (including ourselves) in poems that are formally versatile and linguistically copious’ – Michael Longley. Poetry Book Society Recommendation
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