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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

    Dazzled by Words

    Jean O’Brien
    The intermingling of the religious with everyday life, and an ease with it, is evident throughout Noel Monahan’s latest collection. Religious markers are mentioned casually punctuating the seasons, with the yellow whin bushes blooming at Easter, and following the rhythms of everyday life.
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    A Profound Poetic Pilgrimage

    Pól Ó Muirí
    John F Deane is a poet who lives history, who breathes at one with the world around him. He reminds the reader that we live only for a short while on this rock in space but that that time is precious and profound. We are all dear pilgrims – whether we realise it or not.
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    In Cold Blood

    John Fanning
    It has been euphemistically categorised as ‘enhanced interrogation’, but Jean Améry, who suffered it at the hands of the Gestapo, called it ‘methodical violence, the equivalent of rape’, adding that ‘whoever has succumbed to torture can no longer feel at home in the world’.
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    Gazing Heavenwards

    Gerard Smyth
    The challenge in our secular age for a poet engaging with the spiritual and religious is how to sound the authentic note. To this end James Harpur fetches images from the religious art and symbolism of the past, renewing and refreshing them in his language of ‘pure clear words’.
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    A Fire in the Brain

    Declan O’Driscoll
    James Joyce never wanted to believe that his daughter could not be cured of her mental illness, saying ‘whatever spark or gift I possess has been transmitted to Lucia and has kindled a fire in her brain’. The problem was, however, that the fire could not be extinguished.
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    The Traumatic Quotidian

    Paul Murphy
    Conor O'Callaghan's new collection often deals with rather mundane events, the primary material of life perhaps, rather than subjects more associated with the epic, but from this he often fashions something original and valuable.
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    Last Waltz, First Waltz

    Enda Wyley
    Joseph Woods’s new collection takes the reader on a tour through many exotic places ‑ the Chinese Pacific, the Irrawaddy river, the Western Cape, Chicago – but returns to the more familiar Irish Midlands and West and the persisting links through generations, from ailing parents to infant daughter.
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    Moongaze More Often

    Keith Payne
    Matthew Sweeney’s last collection is bright with painters: Lowry, Van Gogh, Goya, for the most part painters of possibility, or Paula Modersohn-Becker, who moved with Rilke and Rodin and whom Rilke once described as ‘half held in thrall, yet already seizing control’.
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    I Would Prefer Not To

    Catherine Kelly
    In Ottessa Moshfegh’s new novel a young woman attempts to whittle her life back to an extreme stillness. Orphaned, disillusioned with the art world and insulated from the need to work by a large inheritance, she can find no particular reason to participate at all.
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    Just Wade In

    Jean O’Brien
    Reading John O’Donnell’s poetic work, the word constant comes to mind: it is the nub of everything he writes. He has an intrinsic core of honesty, humanity and steadiness; we are in safe hands here.
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