Moya Cannon's new collection reaches back into the long past, showing how traces left behind - textile fragments, buried thimbles, cave paintings - enable us to make imaginative connections with our distant ancestors, emphasising the commonalities of human lives lived many centuries apart. At the heart of the book is the vital importance of art, as the means by which we give permanence to the fleeting moments of our lives; and our need for a connection to the natural world, even in the most mechanised of modern environments. As the train conductor in the title poem asserts, '"I'm going to get a T-shirt with / Keats Lives on it. This time of year, [ - ] when everything starts coming green again, / I always think of him - "'.
Moya Cannon was born in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal in 1956 and now lives in Galway. She studied history and politics at University College, Dublin and international relations at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Her first collection, Oar, won the inaugural Brendan Behan Award and, in 2001, she was the recipient of the Laurence O Shaughnessy Award (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota). A number of her poems have been set to music by Jane O Leary, Philip Martin and Ellen Cranitch, and she has worked with traditional Irish musicians, amongst them Kathleen Loughnane and Maighread and Triona Ni Dhomhnaill, both in the context of performance and of translating Gaelic songs. Moya Cannon has edited Poetry Ireland Review and, in 2004, was elected to Aosdana, the Irish affiliation of creative artists. In 2011 she was the holder of the Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University, PA.
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- ID: 9781784100605
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