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February 08 , 2009

Of All Places


‘Of All Places displays an ability to write public poems about Ireland using tones filled with keen wit, and using cadences, forms and rhythms that have a timeless beauty and grace.’ - Colm Tóibín, The Irish Times, Books of the Year With a hint of Auden’s formal patterns, John McAuliffe’s direct, intriguing poems are simultaneously grounded in the twenty-first century and alive to images and voices from the ancient and recent past. From the implicit exclamation of its title to the literal reach of all locations, Of All Places embraces Roger Casement, Batman, the last Yahi Indian, the cultures of Stonehenge and Tara, and a former taoiseach in the company of someone ‘who might be his daughter’. It re-enters Yeats’s west of Ireland and visits America’s West Coast. An ‘archive’ broadcast jolts a time lag into focus and conjures connections between historic taproots and contemporary concerns. ‘Tight, small poems and epiphanies are interspersed with challenging meditations, but all accumulate into . . . a glorious book.’ - Thomas McCarthy, Southword

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