A new child should mean new hope. But what if that's no longer so? Ailbhe Darcy's second collection unfolds in an intimate world, in which the words home and love dominate. But the private world is threatened by a public one. Written in the American Rust Belt, in an era of climate change and upheaval, Insistence takes stock of the parent's responsibility to her child, the poet's responsibility to the reader, and the vulnerability of the person in the face of global crisis.
In a long poem, Darcy revisits Inger Christensen's 1981 Alphabet, a work which expresses the heart-sickening persistence and proliferation of beauty after Hiroshima. In Darcy's `Alphabet', the spiralling form takes over, insisting on hope. But this is a doubtful sort of hope: hope for life on earth, not necessarily human life. Stink bugs work their way across America, cockroaches waltz, and quixotically-named mushrooms rise from the earth in this flirtatious but volatile collection.
Described by David Wheatley as `boldly overhauling the received categories of the Irish poem' with `cunning and humour', Ailbhe Darcy's poems interrogate cosmopolitanism as much as they do rootedness, love as much as grief.
Ailbhe Darcy's first collection, Imagininary Menagerie, was published by Bloodaxe in 2011.
Ailbhe Darcy was born in Dublin in 1981 and brought up there. She studied for her PhD and MFA at the University of Notre Dame in the US, and taught there and at Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster in Germany. She is now a lecturer in creative writing at Cardiff University. She has published her poetry in Ireland, Britain and the US, and co-edits Moloch, an online magazine of new art and writing. Selections of her work are included in the Bloodaxe anthologies Identity Parade and Voice Recognition, and in her pamphlet A Fictional Dress (tall-lighthouse, 2009). Imaginary Menagerie (Bloodaxe Books, 2011), her first book-length collection, was shortlisted for Ireland's dlr Strong Award at Poetry Now / Mountains to Sea. A collaboration with S.J. Fowler, Subcritical Texts, was published by Gorse in 2017. Her second collection, Insistence, is out from Bloodaxe in May 2018.