Collected Poems: Ciaran Carson

Collected Poems: Ciaran Carson

by Ciaran Carson


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Ciaran Carson’s Collected Poems gathers work from eight collections. From the formal and thematic traditions of his earlierst work, The New Estate (1976), the energetic long lines of The Irish for No (1987) and Belfast Confetti (1989), to the formal adroitness of Opera Et Cetera (1996), The Alexandrine Plan (1998) and The Twelfth of Never (1998), Carson has shown himself to be an extraordinarily adaptable poet. In Breaking News (2003), this master of the long line employs two- and three-syllable lines to alter the tempo, the time of his narrative, and the distinction between separate wars and eras. Carson’s 2008 volume For All We Know is a pas de deux of personal attraction and betrayal set against the memories of the Troubles as well as against other previous historical events (the 60s in Paris, the Second World War). It seems that with each volume Carson invents anew the very ground from which his poetry springs. Collected Poems ensures the poet’s place at the cutting edge of contemporary art.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781930630468
Publisher: Wake Forest University Press
Publication date: 04/01/2009
Pages: 600
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Born in 1948 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ciaran Carson studied at Queen’s University, Belfast, where, from 2003–2015, he served as the director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. Though recently retired from that post, he continues to teach a postgraduate poetry workshop there, in addition to overseeing the Belfast Writers’ Group.

Earlier in his career (from 1975–1998), Ciaran Carson acted as an arts officer for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He is also a member of Aosdána and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. A writer of both poetry and prose—fiction and non-fiction alike—Ciaran Carson has also translated many texts, including The Midnight Court, a work of the eighteenth-century poet Brian Merriman, and a version of Dante’s The Inferno, which won the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize. His other awards include the first-ever T. S. Eliot Prize (1994, for First Language), and the Forward Prize for Best Collection (2003, for Breaking News).

As well as being a significant poet and careful translator, Carson is also a scholar of traditional Irish music; he frequently plays the flute alongside his wife, the accomplished Irish fiddler Deirdre Shannon. He has said: “I’m not interested in ideologies . . . I’m interested in the words, and how they sound to me, how words connect with experience, of fear, of anxiety . . . Your only responsibility is to the language.”

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