This is a love letter to the poet's home territory: the Boyne Valley, its fabled and blooded river, the port of Drogheda and the mouth of the Boyne at Mornington and Baltray. Susan Conlly is a true original and like all true originals is intensely concerned with sources. These poems reach back to Kells, to Durrow, to Lindisfarne, to the holy books of those places, for the ground of their being. On the page, they negotiate visual spaces that can comfortably fit and ritualize the neolithic, contemporary hostage crises, Alexander Calder, the whammy pedal of a guitar. Symmetrical patternings that recall Persian carpets, traditional embroideries, and intricate folk handwork sit beside witty visual and verbal puns that recall '60s and '70s concrete poetry. Not the least of its many charms are the glimpses in this book of a fugitive Irish lyric poet flitting through the pages. -Paula Meehan
Susan Connolly was born in Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Her first full-length collection For the Stranger was published by Dedalus Press in 1993. She was awarded the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry in 2001. In the same year she received a Publications Grant from the Heritage Council of Ireland for A Salmon in the Pool, a literary and place-names map of the river Boyne from source to sea. Susan Connolly's second collection Forest Music was published by Shearsman Books in 2009. Shearsman published her chapbook The Sun-Artist: a book of pattern poems in 2013.