RTE Poetry Programme

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 13.27.11

I had a great time chatting and reading poems on the RTE Poetry Programme recently. The episode, which aired on RTE Radio 1 on October 7, 2018, is available to listen back to here. With many thanks to my fellow poets Sarah Byrne and James O’Leary, and presenter Olivia O’Leary.

‘A Deeply Poignant Execution’: the Los Angeles Review of Books on Rapture

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 10.58.19

 

I have no words for the overwhelming generosity of the review of my book that recently appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Although I’m not sure I’d agree with its assertion that Rapture is one of the ‘greatest collections of poetry that the Irish literary canon has to offer’, those words are really something to wake up to during an ordinary week in August.

Many thanks to James O’Sullivan for his thoughtful piece on Rapture as well as on collections by my fantastic fellow poets Elaine Cosgrove (Transmissions) and Annemarie Ní Churreáin (Bloodroot).

You can read the review in its entirety here.

‘A Master of Endings’: Poetry Ireland Review Critiques Rapture

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.52.33

 

I am grateful to Poetry Ireland Review for including a review of Rapture in the latest issue of their literary pamphlet Trumpet. Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.24.39

The text concerning Rapture, which Grace Wilentz reviews alongside chapbooks by Ellen Cranitch, Julie Morrisey, Pardraig Regan, Victor Tapner, and Michael Naghten Shanks, is featured below. The Winter 2017/18 issue of Trumpet is available here.

Rapture, by Roisin Kelly, the first pamphlet in Southword’s New Irish Voices series, is as concerned with the transcendent pleasure of love as the pamphlet’s title would lead you to believe. Unafraid of sentiment, these twenty poems meditate on lost love, longing, and the tendency of intimacy to arrive as an utter surprise, and dissolve just as swiftly.

In ‘A Massage Room in West Cork’, Kelly draws her reader into an expertly rendered scene, as surprising as it is beautiful:

and all night we keep on the orange
crystal lamp to soften four panes
of glass-hard darkness at the window.

Kelly is a master of endings, saving the ‘poetic crossing’ until the last possible moment. The closing of ‘Leave’ opens unpredictably into a wider, more mysterious world through the soft, hushed music of Kelly’s lines:

For now, the runway stretches into darkness.
In the cellars, barrelled apples sleep
and dream their short lives in reverse.

 

‘Unabashed and Unaffected’: New Review of Rapture in Sabotage

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 14.34.30

Many thanks to Sabotage Reviews, which recently published a review of Rapture. In describing what he sees as the book’s approach to desire (‘so unabashed, so unaffected’), its ‘ambiguous morality’, and its ‘subversive religious material’, Humphrey Astley writes:

Clearly, [Kelly is] concerned with themes of innocence versus experience, though they seem to coexist in her poetry, in a world where erotic frustration is imbued with prepubescent visions ‘the colour of my childhood bedroom’. In this sense, Kelly can be associated with an emerging school of metamodernism, or ‘naive capability’, if you like. Such art exists between tradition and modernity, in the midst of a coming-of-age, ‘between the old, known world / and some fiery entrance to elsewhere.’

The full review is available to read here.

‘Remarkable Emotional Range’: Alison Brackenbury Reviews Rapture

review

 

I am so happy with the review of Rapture by Alison Brackenbury that appears in the latest issue of the PN Review, below.

Rapture, Roisin Kelly’s first pamphlet, brings exuberant colour: ‘June comes to the sky above Leitrim / and Mars is as red as a rose’. Her writing is eagerly physical. Love ‘can be […] like biting into fruit / below the sun, into the juice and pulp of it’. Words addressed to the smallest souvenir ring with tenderness: ‘Little matchbox’… Kelly’s lines carry passionate echoes of liturgy: ‘With your blue sweater, my body worships you’. With ecstatically long vowels and singing sound, these poems are a feast.

Even loss, in Rapture, is transfigured to a constellation: ‘My ex-boyfriend turned lonely Orion’. The poems’ boldness of statement grows almost proverbial: ‘the breakfast table / of love has wrecked many ships’. This brief collection shows remarkable emotional range. Kelly leaves the reader afloat on a tide of colour, her ‘comet’s tail of old ice and stardust / on its way to the red heat of its marriage bed’.

 

Poetry Day Ireland & Butlers Chocolate Cafes

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 15.02.04

 

I’m excited to see my poem ‘October, Cork City’ printed on mini cards to be made available in Ireland’s Butlers Chocolate Cafes in association with Poetry Day Ireland 2017.

Other poems with a similar chocolate/coffee vibe will also be featured on cards and posters in Butlers on April 27.

‘October, Cork City’ was reprinted from Rapture and originally appeared in The Stinging Fly.

 

 

october

 

8 poems at Stinging Fly’s online archive

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 12.09.01

The Stinging Fly has created a beautiful online archive of work that has appeared over the years in their magazine, including 8 of my own poems.

‘Amsterdam’, ‘Glenveagh’, ‘Persimmons’, ‘Ode to Love’, ‘October, Cork City’, ‘Rapture’, ‘The Unicorn Children’ and ‘Hades’ can now be accessed here, with ‘Amsterdam’ available to non-subscribers.