Literary Programme 2018

John F. Deane & James Harpur

John F. Deane & James Harpur

John F. Deane
James Harpur

Bantry Library

Thu 19 July 2018



In June Carcanet will publish new collections from multi-award-winning poets John F Deane and James Harpur. Join John and James for this special Pilgrims of the Soul event.

In Dear Pilgrims John F. Deane, founder of Poetry Ireland, Poetry Ireland Review and Dedalus Press, uncovers a map of spiritual tracks and pathways – external and internal. John uses his extraordinary flair for language, his heartfelt love of nature, and his deep spiritual insight to take the reader into the landscapes of East Anglia, Israel and Palestine and into metaphysical realms far beyond.

Deane is an exemplary poet. Gerard Smyth, Warwick Review

On a simple level, the poems in Deane's Semibreve (Carcanet) are elegies for the past and specifically for a lost brother. More profoundly, they teach us how bereavement, touched by a poet's tongue, can become a shared gift: "wonders of the flesh and spirit, a road-map for a shattered faith. The Guardian [on Semibreve}

John F. Deane was born on Achill Island in 1943. He founded Poetry Ireland – the National Poetry Society – and The Poetry Ireland Review in 1978, and is the founder of The Dedalus Press, of which he was editor from 1985 until 2006. In 2008 he was visiting scholar in the Burns Library of Boston College. John F. Deane’s poetry has been translated and published in France, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Italy, Slovakia, Sweden and other countries. His poems in Italian won the 2002 Premio Internazionale di Poesia Città di Marineo. His fiction has been published by Blackstaff Press in Befast; his most recent novel Where No Storms Come was published by Blackstaff in 2011. He is the recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry and the Marten Toonder Award for Literature. He is a member of Aosdána, the body established by the Arts Council to honour artists ‘whose work had made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland.’ His poetry has been shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. In 1996 he was elected Secretary-General of the European Academy of Poetry. In 2007 he was made Chevalier en l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the French government.

James Harpur’s The White Silhouette explores the numinous in a snowy pilgrimage from West Cork to Dorset, Russian icons, the Perseids’ meteor shower and the medieval Celtic art of the Book of Kells. The title poem is a powerful, haunting journey of ‘missed encounters’ in the spiritual landscapes of Tipperary, Wiltshire and Patmos.

[Harpur’s] is an amazingly consistent voice, compelling in intensity… his is a world of insight and intuitions… If you're brave enough, read him. He will take you into a world you will find difficult to forget. R.J. Bailey, Envoi

[Harpur’s] poetry, always strongly imbued with a sense of the sacred, makes great play of light's spiritual resonance… his brilliant imagery and luxuriant natural descriptions offer plenty to enjoy. Sarah Crown, The Guardian

James Harpur has had five poetry collections published by Anvil Press and won many awards and bursaries. A Vision of Comets (1993) was based on the poems that won him an Eric Gregory Award. Anvil have also published his Fortune’s Prisoner (2007), a translation of the poems of the Roman philosopher Boethius. He is poetry editor of the Temenos Academy Review and a member of Aosdána. He lives in West Cork.

Photo Credit: Dino Ignani