Collected Poems

Eilean Ní Chuilleanáin


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The Gallery Press
29 October 2020
ISBN: 9781911337928
408 pages

From the publisher

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s Collected Poems is a book of singular beauty and uncommon cohesion. It contains work from more than fifty years and nine collections and includes new, previously unpublished poems. For all the serenity of their surfaces a core of historical concern permeates her lines. Often she attends to marginalized or solitary figures and embraces multiple journeys which transport her readers to the dramas of hinted narratives. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s art is a wonder. As Maria Johnston wrote in Poetry Ireland Review, ‘One could spend one’s whole life reading Ní Chuilleanáin’s oceanic oeuvre and still feel that one has only sailed on the surface of this fugitive poet’s unending, elaborate, and endlessly transformative mysteries.’

Collected Poems is a uniquely compelling body of work that has the coherence and inevitability of a natural growth. It is a fitting monument to her passionate concern to ride ‘the horses of meaning’ and to ‘let their hooves print the next bit of the story.’ — David Cooke, The Manchester Review

'There is something second sighted, as it were, about Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s work, by which I don’t mean that she has any prophetic afflatus, more that her poems see things anew, in a rinsed and dreamstruck light. They are at once as plain as an anecdote told on the doorstep and as haunting as a soothsayer’s greetings.' — Seamus Heaney


"Ní Chuilleanáin’s own work could be described as an extended exercise in the conversion of loss into re-enchantment. Among the loveliest examples of this is ‘Gloss/Clós/Glas’, a poem that toys obsessively with the intimacy and distance between languages by punning on the Irish word ‘glas’, meaning ‘green’ and ‘lock’, and on the English ‘gloss’. ‘The rags of language are streaming like weathervanes,’ as a scholar trawls through one of his dictionaries late at night, and a boy in a story has come to a small locked door: ‘Who is that he can hear panting on the other side?/The steam of her breath is turning the locked lock green.’" — David Wheatley, London Review of Books