When bad things happen to good books

To us, every box of newly-printed books that we receive at the Press is like a special gift opened under the Christmas tree. But from time to time, a box comes to us with minor or even major damage, and what are we to do?

Why do bad things happen to good books?

Why do bad things happen to good books?

Why do bad things happen to good books?

Unfortunately, we received a box of Ciaran Carson’s Collected Poems (paperback) recently that was slightly warped. The good news is that you can benefit from our misfortune! We have a limited number of brand-new, still-in-the-shrink-wrap copies (with very minor warping) available at a discounted price of $14.00. If you ask us, that’s quite a steal!

You can purchase these copies online in our Used Books section. While you’re at it, browse around the rest of our used titles to see what other great deals we have. After all, a used book has just been pre-loved.

Posted in Ciaran Carson, Irish Poetry, On sale, Poetry | Leave a comment

Poem of the Week: “… a spell to bless the silence.”

John Montague’s most recent volume, Speech Lessons, is full of lyrical poems about childhood, memory, and family. Our selection for today stands out from this subject matter as a poem about poetry itself.


for Elizabeth

Poetry is a weapon, and should be used,
though not in the crudity of violence.
It is a prayer before an unknown altar,
a spell to bless the silence.

There is a music beyond all this,
beyond all forms of grievance,
where anger lays its muzzle down
into the lap of silence.

Or some butterfly script,
fathomed only by the other,
as supple fingers draw
a silent message from the tangible.

-John Montague, from Speech Lessons (2012)

Posted in Irish Poetry, John Montague, Poem of the Week | 2 Comments

Poem of the Week, with congrats to Conor O’Callaghan

We’re pleased to share the news that Conor O’Callaghan’s The Sun King has been shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now award. The winner will be announced at the Mountains to Sea DLR Book Festival on September 13th.

To cheer him on, we’re posting the title poem. For more about The Sun King, check out this excellent interview with Conor O’Callaghan. Congratulations, Conor!

The Sun King

I wanted his sky-blue Ford, its sheetrock, its transmission issues.
I listened to his low-down yodelling skimming sunk studs
and snake rattles like wind chimes round his mantle in the hills
and parables waiting for windows to arrive where some lunchbox
was always asked what sort of lunchbox he took Roy for.
Le roi soleil.
It stuck, from first coming with a bucket of mud
to the day of reckoning his lady friend brought marble cake
and Roy joined hands in a ring that all lost rooms be filled
by a sun to which even the godless among us could say Amen.

Then one afternoon Leaves of Grass fell onto the laminate.
The station wagon wasn’t in the drive. The sprinklers,
for all the gilt and shadow in the street, had run dry.
My boy and girl were grown elsewhere. And somehow I,
five years east, woke in mind of an odd-job deity no heathen
need ever wake in mind of. King of sun, pray for me again.

-Conor O’Callaghan, from The Sun King (2013)

Posted in Conor O'Callaghan, Irish Poetry, Poem of the Week, Poetry | Leave a comment