Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My review of Eamon Carr & Ben Howard's poetry

This appears in Estudios Irlandeses, Number 5, 2010, pp. 187-189. The pdf is on line at "Irish Studies around the World". I compare two new collections of poetry that emphasize Japanese, Zen, and cultural connections between that milieu and Ireland/ Irish America. And one expands into soccer the fated year of Roy Keane & Mick McCarthy, the other upstate New York academia. Not sure which arena of conflict is more harrowing for these two survivors, urbane, witty, wise.

In case you wish to track down them down: (1) The Origami Crow: Journey into Japan, World Cup Summer 2002 by Éamon Carr (Dublin: Seven Towers, 2008).ISBN 978-0-9555346-5-2 (case bound); 978-0-9555346-6-9 (perfect bound). 75 pp. (2) Leaf, Sunlight, Asphalt by Ben Howard (Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare: Salmon Poetry, 2009) ISBN 978-1-907056-13-0 (paper). 69 pp.

I finished the review originally on Carr the day I found out about Howard's book, and I had to revise my article immediately after opening Howard's collection and hearing such resonance. Professor Howard also has a blog, The Practice of Zen: One Time, One Meeting. This is his sixth verse collection. Information from press: "Salmon Publishing"

As the blurb goes for "Origami Crow,"-- "Chronicling the wild World Cup Summer of 2002 in Japan, Carr follows the fellow spirit of medieval Japanese poet Basho on a journey that is both movingly personal and exceptionally universal.." These prose-poem reflections are Carr's first volume (unless you count his contributions to the pioneering late-'60s Tara Telephone collective and the broadsheet "The Book of Invasions." Perhaps that name, and his, sound familiar?

That album is one of the classics of modern Irish music. Carr was the drummer and lyricist for the 1970s electric folk band Horslips, Later, his sports commentary, and/or his journalism on the air and in print via Dublin has kept him in the media spotlight. More about his book can be found via the publisher: "Seven Towers". The image of Carr's from a video of his reading a selection from the collection, at "Eamon Carr@Balcony TV.ie"

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