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And Agamemnon Dead: Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry.

Byline: Reprint from Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: And Agamemnon Dead: Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry

Editors: Peter O’Neill, Walter Ruhlmann

Contributors: Michael McAloran, Amos Greig, Dylan Brennan, Christine Murray,
Arthur Broomfield, Peter O’Neill, Rosita Sweetman, Michael J. Whelan, Anamaria
Crowe Serrano, Peadar O’Donaghue, Strider Marcus Jones, Colm Kearns, John
Saunders, Kevin Higgins, Paul Casey, Sarah Brown Weitzman, Eithne Lannon,
Maighread Medbh, Jack Grady, Bob Shakeshaft

Publisher: mgv2>publishing

Date of Publication: 2015

Page Count: 187

“All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on the corner
Then danced through the night . . .
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God
It's our last“
- From Fairytale of New York by The Pogues

And Agamemnon Dead is a magnificent celebration of New Age poetry by Poets from Ireland writing this century. In the introduction Editor Peter O’Neill laments the politics of who is published in the mainline press and who is not, as if meritocracy is a game that lives in the shadows. This volume of poetry breathes into the shadows and manifests life. This cross-section of Poets, each with their own voice and distinctive style is the first breath of peace after the 30 years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland that led to the repatriation of Ireland under Home Rule. The war began in the late 1960’s and was largely disbanded after the Belfast “Good Friday” Agreement of 1998. In the beginning times of The Troubles, no one talked of the violence, it was verboten, and people murdered and brutalized, missing pieces of the sky. In the 30 years of violence, more than 3,500 people have died.

The highlight of this poetry is the celebration of the vernacular and the Celtic lilt of language, inside New Age synergies for peace. The anthology begins with a long poem by Michael McAloran, a Ulysses (James Joyce) cracker barrel, an argument/celebration on the edge of a broken love affair. The death imagery, the broken train of thought, enigmatic and dislocated fragments with slashes between thought structures. A fantastical poem. Michael McAloran has written over 10 books of poetry and is the poetry editor at Bone Orchard Poetry.

Amos Greig has been involved with the literary community of Belfast and Ireland for 25 years, writing, published in 4 anthologies and a book of poetry, he is the Editor of A New Ulster. Belfast Child is a juxtaposition of violence/death with life and a brush of Imagist influence using allusions to nature.

Dylan Brennan is an emerging Irish Poet currently based in Mexico. He has just published Blood Oranges, his first full book of poetry in 2014. The poetry presented here is a travelogue of Mexico, particularly good is The Men in Fake Uniforms. The story of being interrogated by the police while travelling on a bus, being taken off the bus and another tourist being left behind. Bones of Anonymous Children, Deliver Us and Misspelled Messages all have themes of violence and human rights abuses brilliantly written.

Christine Murray is an Irish Poet and stonecutter who has written books of poetry and archives women’s and new poetry at Someone Wants Lovecraft’s Head presents the sad state of love lives in the West, “Someone thinks hate kills hate.” An exciting read.

Arthur Broomfield is an Irish poet, writer, Beckett scholar and editor of Outburst. He has been published in Ireland and the U.K. In A learned treatise on why Irish poetry moved from a dessert to a desert he laments the lament of all poets, why are they not published more. He also presents After Market Day, Finestere, 1882 by Henry Jones Thaddeus a classic gift of poetry that is not out of place in this New Age anthology.

Peter O’Neill is an Irish writer, poet and editor. He has written a trilogy based on experiences living in France and 2 books of poetry that received critical acclaim. Novel – set in Cork explores the theme of a 17 year old boy looking for his first sexual experience, brilliant nature imagery and an expounding use of the Celtic vernacular that almost reminds This Writer of Black meme. Also noteworthy is Trinity College Dublin 2014, a university student’s experience of being in a lecture hall presenting the beginnings of war and sexual attraction. “When old age sat with her memories going through every one/ living out some paradigm of Nietzche’s eternal return”.

Anamaria Crowe Serrano was born in Dublin, Ireland. She is a Poet, teacher and translator of poetry. Her work is brilliant, on fire and brilliant with passion. The truncated broken delivery of sexual violence, a protest, an indictment of the war economy. on first reading Stuart Kendall’s Gilgamesh “I digress the real garment is not wispy gauze but woven with my pubic hair (4)/ the primitive joy of it/ against your thighs and your crotch” (4) Bethesda houses your civility healing is irrelevant after this. The words are spread across the page with spaces as if struck by lightening.

Strider Marcus Jones is a lawyer, Poet, and ex-civil servant born in England but his people are from Ireland and Wales. He is widely published in literary journals and has written 5 books of poetry. Love is Stripped to Sharing Bread and Pouring Out and In are excellent examples of his work, erotic and surreal, the poetry lives like a painting in the shadows of silence. At the end of the latter poem are the Celtic words “mo anam chara/ mo ghra” which in English mean “my friend, my true soul”.

Sarah Brown Weitzman is widely published in anthologies and journals. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and a Fellowship Award for poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. A History of Blue is a Celtic New Age synergy, profound in parts with a celebration of Imagist influences.

Eithne Lannon is a teacher and Poet living in Dublin. She has been published in The Letter, Irish Journal for Laconian Psychoanalysis and A New Ulster. Ritual is the theme of washing the body of a dead infant, compelling. Everywhere brushes with Imagist influences, an original play with language.

“ego scatters as soft rain through intimate air,
sound-ripples wane after birdsong and the sky
is tinctured with a vacancy suspended in its wake.”

Colm Kearns, born in Ballybrack, Co Dublin. He is a Poet with an MA in Comparative Literature, the majority of his work is published in The Runt a magazine he co-founded. He runs an open mic in Dun Laoghaire pub Scott’s. Euro 88 and the poetry excerpts from his latest project, the “history of UEFA European Championships”, is an inside look at soccer matches in poetic prose, all the action, all the intrigue.

And Agamemnon Dead, poetry in New Age synergies, the theme of violence and love intertwines, enlightens and sings in. A very strong presentation of leading New Age Irish poets, a classic. All the poetry bling from Ireland this Christmas.

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Available @ Amazon United Kingdom.

Genre: Poetry, New Age

The Book Reviewer

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