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Published Books

Savage Solitude

Dedalus Press 2013
Savage Solitude
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Subtitled 'Reflections of a Reluctant Loner', Savage Solitude takes the reader on a journey through the immediate experience of being alone. The subject is explored in a series of dramatic dialogues and aphorisms.

Drawing on quotations from a wide range of poets, philosophers, writers and scientists, the conversation of the book moves in a kind of rolling wave that is simultaneously story and analysis, report and ongoing investigation.

Intimate, empathetic, dramatic, this multi-voiced work is a study by immersion, a living experience conducted through the medium of text, and all the while pushing towards an answer to the question (more pressing than ever in our hi-tech age) of how to be alone.

ISBN 978 1 906614 63 8 paperback
290 pp, 216 x 140 mm / 5.5" x 8.5"

Price: €14.99

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Twelve Beds for the Dreamer

Arlen House 2011
Twelve Beds for the Dreamer
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The 'twelve beds' in the title of this collection refer to the twelve astrological signs. The dreamer is the poet, who began by noting the moon's monthly passage through the zodiac and checking whether it bore any relation to her dreams. Would she dream of conflict when the moon was in Aries, or of love when it was in Libra? She didn't reach a scientific conclusion, but she did write the dreams as poems and found that they could be allocated thematic places within the astrological divisions. She added other poems of the night and half-light to achieve a narrative of the inner life with the zodiac as a structure, astrology having proved a very interesting map-maker in her experience.

The journey in the sequence is from Cancer (home, children, tradition) to Gemini (communication, information, restlessness), a road which has also been walked by the poet's generation. The last poems in the sequence are steeped in the clamorous demands of the Celtic Tiger mentality.

Price: €15.00

Postage Rest of World

When the Air Inhales You

Arlen House 2008

This collection is in two parts. The first, called 'Saturn's Little Colours', is a mix of lyric, narrative and inspirational verse. Themes unite such very concrete facts as the 9/11 attack and financial failure with philosophical transcendence and triumphant death. Styles vary, but generally continue Máighréad's concern with organic form. Saturn is a jailor, but there is a thrust towards release.

Part Two, 'Flight', is a requiem for the poet's sister, who died suddenly and violently in 2006. Details of the death are not here; rather, the reader is given short, honest, emotional and philosophical responses, which culminate in the final poem, 'Accompanied'. The last lines are:

'... these tears are not made of water,
but of light, pattern, space, form
and are beautiful, because
everything natural is everything else.'

Price: €13.00

Postage Rest of World

¡Divas!

Arlen House 2003

¡Divas! is a volume containing three collections. The poets, Máighréad Medbh, Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Deirdre Brennan, have each contributed 69 pages of poetry under separate titles and with individual introductions. Máighréad's collection is entitled 'Split', and consists of 34 poems. The themes are marriage, its failure, the diversity of desire and the desperate search for connection.

'She got out on a Sunday afternoon,
leaving bubbles to beat Everest in the sink.
Her two teenagers were out loitering
and her husband felling a precarious tree,
all due back by six.'
(from 'The Orange Coat')

Price: €15.00

Postage Ireland
Postage Rest of World

Out of My Skin CD

Odin Poetries 2003

Some of the 23 poems on this CD have not been published except in the voice, at performances. Many are from collections, including two of the most powerful pieces from Tenant (Link to Tenant below): 'Mór' and 'Scar'. From the urban rap, 'Out of My Skin', to the sensuous love poem, 'Feed', Máighréad's delivery is urgent and intimate. There are the explicit poems, 'Saturday Morning' and 'Nick Cave Makes Love to Me', and three sung poems based on the Celtic seasonal calendar, which marry the old and the modern in an original way.

'I walk the night
and the silence falls like footsteps at my back,
like the promises I lack,
like the voices of my dead father, fighting still,
like the knock when there's no-one in.'
(from 'Samhain')

Price: €10.00

Postage Ireland
Postage Rest of World

Tenant

Salmon Publishing 1999

Tenant is a historical narrative sequence, following the fortunes of the fictional O'Sullivan family through the traumatic years of Ireland's Great Famine, 1845-49. The fate of the main character, Rena, reflects the social devastation and historical legacy of the period. The poems are visceral, entering into the various physical experiences with mirroring rhythms and uncompromising bluntness. Several types of hunger are explored: the depressive tendencies of Rena's father, Peadar; Rena's yearning for glamour and position; the desire for national self-determination; the need for harmonious personal relationships. The style changes as the story progresses, marking the shift from innocence to knowledge and the complex redemption of time. The poem, 'Mór', in the voice of a goddess of the earth, signals transition:

'Humans are small things that think themselves big.
What I am is spirit matter, pulsing out in heaves and swirls,
rising from the shifting points of earth,
all points thinking they're the centre,
sending out their waves.'

Out of Print. A new edition is on the cards. Watch this space.


The Making of a Pagan

Blackstaff Press, 1990

Dream-like impressions of early childhood, vivid, sensuous portraits of love and sexuality, incisive observations of the disturbing dilemmas faced by women, caustic but witty comments on church and state... With forceful, energetic rhythms taken from rock, reggae and rap, Máighréad Medbh charts her growth from child to woman in this startling first collection.

'Clack go her glasses
down on her nose.
Raatum go her false teeth.
Suck suck suck on the thread
to thread a needle
to turn a hem
to shorten a dress for me.'
(from 'Mother')

Out of Print. A new edition is on the cards. Watch this space.