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

    Richard Murphy 1927-2018

    Benjamin Keatinge
    With the death of Richard Murphy on January 30th, 2018, Ireland lost one of its greatest poets, the creator, in the words of fellow practitioner Peter Sirr, of ‘unforgettable music’.

    An Eye for the Gewgaws

    Harry Clifton
    Dennis O’Driscoll was his generation’s leading man of letters. He assimilated the mode and manner of translated Eastern European poetry and applied it to the domestic and professional realities of Ireland. In his finest poems, the decadence and morbidity of the age is lifted beyond itself.

    Homing Signals

    Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado
    Leontia Flynn’s latest collection, which was shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize, gives shape to the ‘music of words’ that reverberates within our quotidian existence, channelling it internally and then broadcasting it back to the outside world in unexpected forms.

    Silvery Images

    Alexander Runchman
    Nerys Williams’s new collection is much concerned with language, and while it disparages ‘silver tongues’ it recognises that the value of language and its ‘half-lit words’ may lie in the uncertainty of its interpretation, in its meaning different things to different audiences.


    Mary O’Donnell
    Although Annemarie Ní Churreáin’s poems often centre on ‘subjects’ and ‘issues’, the strength of her work derives from a perceived absence of agenda. There may well be an agenda, but thanks to poetic language true to its task, we believe in these poems as poetry.

    Poetry, Exile, Homecoming

    Keith Payne
    After much wandering, there is a sense of homecoming in Michael O’Loughlin’s later poems, but more the poet coming home to himself than any facile notion of nationhood. This is a collection which places O’Loughlin deservedly within the canon of Irish poetry.

    A Great Delight, A Little Load

    Carlo Gébler
    Peter Fallon’s version of the Greek poet Hesiod’s best-known work avoids the traps of exaggerated fidelity to ancient poetic protocol and wilful anachronism. There is also modesty in his practice: this is about Hesiod, and admiration of what Fallon can do is not allowed to get in the way.

    Not All There

    Dan A O’Brien
    Sean O’Reilly’s truncated, misshapen stories are a radical leave-taking from the Irish literary tradition ‑ more Flannery than Frank O’Connor ‑ while in other ways they could not be anything other than Irish, sharing much with the stranger work of Donal Ryan and Rob Doyle.

    Judging Fintan Judging Shaw

    Anthony Roche
    Judging Fintan Judging Shaw
    Most Shavians steer clear of discussing Shaw’s final decades. It is then that he starts cuddling up to dictators, of whom there was no shortage at the time. Beatrice Webb blamed his admiration for Mussolini on 'his intellectual isolation and weakness for flattery'.


    Declan O’Driscoll
    It’s not easy being in a Joanna Walsh story. Nothing is quite as it should be and however fervently you maintain hope, that vision you have of how life might approach perfection ‑ the image imagined ‑ never settles or sharpens into focus.