The new issue of Poetry Ireland Review features my two-part poem “A Penny for Two Thoughts”. The first part’s an elegy for my Irish grandfather, while the second part is about mummies and the Rosetta Stone. I wrote this poem almost a decade ago, so I’m very excited that it’s finally been published.
Over the past two weeks, three new pieces have come out: two reviews for the Irish Times, and a personal essay in Crossing the Dissour.
Here I discuss three interesting books by Irish-American writer Colin Broderick. And here’s my review of Damien Goodfellow’s graphic novel about the Famine, Black ’47.
In my essay Juxtapositions, I discuss how I use humour to write about death and depression. It came out last week in issue 2 of Crossing the Dissour, which is published by Greywood Arts, a cultural centre in Killeagh, Co. Cork, where I spent a glorious week this summer.
In April, I participated in the #ReadIrishWomenChallenge, responding every day to a prompt supplied by Irish bookseller Karina Clifford, who discusses her project here. It was mad fun, and I discovered lots of new books as a result, particularly in some categories I often overlook, such as YA fiction. The following is my list for the challenge. I’ve also included a more scholarly thread outlining some of the reasons why I think the challenge is important from a cultural perspective. Click on the tweets for the full threads! And for a full list of all the tweets I dashed off with the hashtag, click here.
Issue 8 of the fantastic Irish literary magazine Banshee is now available to preorder. It contains my personal essay “The River, The Bridge”, which deals with depression, suicide, and Tinder. It’s my first creative publication in years and my first personal essay, so I’m both very excited and terrified. You can preorder the issue here.
My review of Margaret Kelleher’s excellent The Maamtrasna Murders has just appeared in this week’s TLS. Find it here.
My review of George O’Brien’s The Irish Novel 1800-1910 has just been pre-published on the website of Notes & Queries. O’Brien’s book is enjoyable and absorbing, but I nevertheless have a few reservations. Read my review here.
Later this month, Peter Lang will publish The Great Irish Famine and Social Class, edited by Marguérite Corporaal and Peter Gray. The collection, a product of the International Network of Irish Famine Studies, features my essay “Transformative Nationalism and Class Relations in Irish Famine Fiction, 1896-1909.” In my chapter, I look at how Young Irelander nationalism is used as a strategy to validate the hegemony of the upper classes in a number of novels about the Irish Famine, including Louise Field’s Denis (1896) and L.T. Meade’s The Stormy Petrel (1909).
As I argue in my essay, these novels “do not present the landlord class as a whole as parasitical and alien, as nationalists such as Michael Davitt and James Connolly did, but attempt to humanize and hibernicize the class, by incorporating them into the narrative of Famine victimhood, emphasizing their self-sacrificing efforts on behalf of the poor, and scripting them into the nationalist story of (intermittently) emergent nationhood.”