Vona Groarke Flight and Earlier Poems

ISBN 13: 9781930630123

Flight and Earlier Poems

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In Flight and Earlier Poems, the cultural creation and romantic myths surrounding such themes as home, family and landscape are set against the harsh realities of Ireland’s history. They are also burdened by the specific gravity of individual lives. Vona Groarke’s treatment of Ireland’s past and present, the barrenness of certain parts of the country, and the flight from the emptiness of obscure counties, is subtle and evocative: a contentious space of philosophical as well as lyrical resonance. If the once desolate lands and deserted villages of the Irish countryside have sometimes surrendered to a rural idyll, the envy of post-industrial Europe, Groarke examines those places which have not been visited by such a retreat into the pastoral, or else have been transformed in the process.

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About the Author:

Vona Groarke was born in the Irish Midlands in 1964. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and University College, Cork, Groarke has worked in the UK, the United States, and Norway. She has held various teaching positions over the years, including the Heimbold Chair in Irish Studies at Villanova University, a professorship in Wake Forest University’s English Department from 2005 2007, and a Writer-in-Residence position with the National University at Galway and Maynooth. In 2010, she was elected to be a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of the arts. Poetry collections by Vona Groarke include Shale (1994), Other People’s Houses (1999), Flight (2002), Flight and Earlier Poems (2004), Juniper Street (2006), Spindrift (2009, 2010), and X (2014). In 2008, her translation of the classic Irish poem, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire” by Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, was published as Lament for Art O’Leary. She is published in Ireland by The Gallery Press. Groarke has won a number of awards for her poetry including the Hennessy Award, the Brendan Behan Memorial Prize, the Stroketown International Poetry Award, and the Stand Magazine Poetry Prize, and she was the runner-up in The Times Literary Supplement Poetry Competition in 2003. Her most recent publication, X, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her poems have recently appeared in Yale Review, The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, Boston Review, The Guardian, The Times, and Poetry Review. She lives in Manchester, England, with her two children, Tommy and Eve, and currently teaches at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester.

Review:

"Here is a poet, one suspects, for whom writing has never been as effortless, or as effective: the obvious spirit of exhilaration in which these poems have been created is matched by excitement in the reader at encountering a voice that has come entirely into its own. Vona Groarke has taken off."

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