"A Little Book of Hours" begins in a sermon by John Donne: 'No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.' The Irish poet John F. Deane takes a period of time and sifts through it for meaning and purpose. His new collection explores how each human being shares in an integrated universe, though our world is variously broken by individual conflict, wars and natural violence. Beginning with an account of the simplest-seeming island people and their troubled though productive lives, "A Little Book of Hours" continues with a series of poems about King David, great poet and warrior, which consider the ineffectuality of war and the place of poetry in building towards a just society. The title sequence journeys through Europe in search of sacred truth, emulating the journey of Tobias attended by the angel. Deane's book is a meditation in which the Christian vision is seen to penetrate and bind all of humanity and nature.
John F. Deane was born on Achill Island in 1943. He founded Poetry Ireland and Poetry Ireland Review in 1979. Author of many books of poetry, his work has been translated into French, Bulgarian, Romanian, Italian and Swedish. In 1996 he was elected Secretary-General of the European Academy of Poetry, and he won the O'Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry in 1998. Carcanet publish his poetry. His 2003 collection Manhandling the Deity was shortlisted for the T.S.Eliot Prize.