In "The Art of Life" Paul Durcan takes us around County Mayo in his "filthy, two-door, bottle-green Opel Astra", stopping off at Westport and Achill Island, where he declares himself to be "globally sad", but "locally glad". Next he travels east to Dublin to hold in his arms his newborn granddaughter and thence to Tuscany, Poland and Japan. Along the way he reflects upon parental pride, the aches and pains of old age, the trim bottoms of snooker players, the wisdom of ex-wives and dogs on Sandymount Strand, while introducing us to a host of colourful characters, including a bishop, a roofer, a milkman, a priest and an unmarried mother. Is there an art of living or is life a work of art? This magnificent new collection - published on Paul Durcan's sixtieth birthday - reveals one of Ireland's most successful and popular poets at the height of his powers and continuing to challenge, amuse and delight.
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PAUL DURCAN was born in Dublin in 1944. His first book, Endsville, appeared in 1967, and has been followed by 17 others, including The Berlin Wall Caf- (Poetry Book Society Choice, 1985), Daddy, Daddy (winner of the Whitbread Award for Poetry, 1990), A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems (1993) and Cries of an Irish Caveman: New Poems (2001). In 2001 he received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry.
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