Contemporary Irish Poetry and the Climate Crisis  book cover
1st Edition

Contemporary Irish Poetry and the Climate Crisis

ISBN 9780367714086
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
214 Pages

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Book Description

Contemporary Irish Poetry and the Climate Crisis addresses what is arguably the most crucial issue of human history through the lens of late-twentieth and early twenty-first-century Irish poetry. The poets that it surveys range from familiar presences in the contemporary Irish literary canon – Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Paula Meehan, Moya Cannon – to lesser-known figures, such as the experimental poet Maurice Scully, contemporary poets Stephen Sexton and Sean Hewitt, and the Irish-language poets Simon Ó Faoláin, Bríd Ní Mhóráin, and Máire Dinny Wren. Adopting a variety of ecotheoretical approaches, the essays gathered here address several interrelated themes crucial to the climate crisis: the way in which the scalar scope of climate change interweaves local and global, distant past and imminent future, nature and culture; the critical importance of acknowledging the complex kinship of the human and nonhuman; and the necessity of warning against the devastating environmental losses to come while mourning those that already occurred. Ultimately, by envisioning new ways of existing on an earth that humans no longer dominate, this book engages in what the philosopher Jonathan Lear refers to as a process of ‘radical anticipation’.

Table of Contents



Chapter One: Reading Heaney’s Bog Poems in the Anthropocene

Andrew Auge

Chapter Two: Songs in Stone: Moya Cannon and Ecomusicology

Donna Potts

Chapter Three: ‘Balanced between Cliff and Flowers’: The Enduring Earth Step in Moya Cannon’s ‘Word Pools’

Christine Cusick

Chapter Four: Doing the Human Differently: Rabbits and Hares in Contemporary Irish Poetry

Kathryn Kirkpatrick

Chapter Five: ‘The Struck Lyre Ripples as a Stricken Voice’: The Poetry of Derek Mahon from Landscape to Ecology

Jefferson Holdridge

Chapter Six: Heaney’s Proffer: Tollund Man, Catastrophic Climate Change, and the Responsibility to Mourn

Brendan Corcoran

Chapter Seven: Vegetal Life in Maurice Scully’s Humming: A Tangle of Bright Fragments

Lucy Collins

Chapter Eight: ‘When Species Meet’: Scale and Form in the Poetry of Ciaran Berry and Moya Cannon

Eóin Flannery

Chapter Nine: The Corncrake, the Climate Crisis and Irish-language Poetry

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Chapter Ten: ‘A Stain from the Sky is Descending’: The Poetics of Climate Change in Irish Poetry

Eugene O’Brien

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Andrew J. Auge is a Professor of English and Director of the Irish Studies minor at Loras College, Dubuque, IA, USA. He also serves as an Advisory Editor for New Hibernia Review. He received a PhD in British Literature from Marquette University.

Eugene O’Brien is Head of the Department of English Language and Literature in Mary Immaculate College, Ireland, and is also the director of the Mary Immaculate College Institute for Irish Studies.