This is a collection of contemporary poems by Steve Denehan, 140 pages and published by Golden Antelope Press.
How to review a poetry book? Well firstly thanks to Isabelle Kenyon for reaching out and inviting me to be involved with this blog tour celebrating the publication of this poetry collection and providing me with a finished copy of the book.
I haven’t reviewed a poetry book on here before and actually what better way to share how this book is than with a sample of the poems.
This one will resonate with everyone I am sure –
Into the Third Month The only outside now is the virus dying slowly the attempt of one virus to kill another the antidote was simple in the end inactivity and isolation which led to my daughter cutting my hair into a mohawk followed by nail polish I chose purple lipstick I chose black my face was painted a spider on one cheek a flower on the other a red lightning bolt on one temple blue star on the other a purple spiral on my forehead I wear a hoodie emblazoned with a taco and a nacho arguing "Wanna taco 'bout it?" "It's nacho business!!" shorts and Aquaman boot-slippers from morning 'til night there are bad days these are good days
The book is full of contemporary poems such as this one, which is not the only one reflecting on 2020 and the pandemic. I like the way books and poetry allow us space to think about what is happening now and this collection does that. Below is another I particularly like, also about the pandemic.
They Said First, they cancelled all outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people and all indoor gatherings of more than 100 people then, they reduced it down to 10 people then, 4 people 2 metres apart at least from one another then, they said that we cannot travel more that 2 km from our homes and only then for essential or medical reasons now, we cannot leave our homes indefinitely a new law has been ratified to make it a criminal offence I know what they will say next we must stay confined to one room we must stay in a shower cubicle we must stay in a wardrobe until, finally we must stay inside ourselves which, honestly is okay by me
There are others, about a whole range of things, all written in an accessible and uncomplicated way.
I have described Steve Denehan’s writing as poetry that stops time. His poems take you into the centre of moments where real life happens, and then his flawless writing takes your breath away. He is a master of showing the richness, complexity and beauty of everyday life. His poems have an accessibility and familiarity that makes you want to read them again and again. He is the best of contemporary poetry.Susan Richardson, award-winning poet, author of Things my Mother Left Behind.
About the Author
Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He is the author of two chapbooks and two collections. Twice winner of Irish Times’ New Irish Writing, his numerous publication credits include Poetry Ireland Review, Acumen, Westerly and Into The Void. He has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best New Poet and has been twice nominated for The Pushcart Prize.
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