Gustav Parker Hibbett & Mícheál McCann

Time and date

Tuesday 16 July 2024

5:00 pm

Location

Bantry Library

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Poets Gustav Parker Hibbett and Mícheál McCann will both publish their first collections this summer. Gustav Parker Hibbett is a poet from New Mexico who is currently pursuing a PhD at Trinity College Dublin and their first collection High Jump as Icarus Story is published by Banshee Press in July 2024. Mícheál McCann is from Derry City and is the the 2024 Publishing Fellow at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s where he is. Devotion is his first collection and it is published by Gallery Press in May 2024.

Admission: Free

In High Jump as Icarus Story, Gustav Parker Hibbett gifts us visions of flight and falling. This stunningly accomplished debut deconstructs and redefines notions of Blackness, queerness, and masculinity through the lens of myth, pop culture, and that most transcendent of sports – the high jump. Formally inventive, these poems speak in a capacious voice which can be vulnerable, fragmented, and rapturous; exhorting us to imagine and reimagine our possible selves while navigating a labyrinthine America that conjures its young into monsters. Taking us from the arroyos of New Mexico to a West Cork farm in winter, these meditations on beauty and the elusive nature of love are insightful, and hard-won. Here, the spirit triumphs, even when body falls: ‘having/ reached for sunlight,/even if I failed to hold it.’

 

At the heart of Mícheál McCann’s eagerly awaited first collection is ‘Keen for A— ’, a re-imagining of Eileen O’Connell’s heartrending Lament for Art O’Leary. In Devotion he transports the original tragedy in time and place. Echoing the 18th-century Irish, it lives now in contemporary Belfast where a young man’s male lover is murdered. The sequence charts from premonition, in filmic scenes, the first encounter, the news, denial, rage (and an oath of vengeance) to the funeral and A—’s family’s chilling silence afterwards. Other poems range from memories of childhood and relationships with parents to the author’s own imaginary child. There is a wry poem on animal homosexuality, others on sea swimming and the satisfactions of a shared meal, while an elegiac poem recreates the final joy of an RUC Constable in a gay bar before he’s shot by a member of the INLA. For all the solemnity of its subject matter love poems leaven its atmosphere as Mícheál McCann’s debut glows with the sense of someone who knows he has ‘discovered the name of his destination’.

Writers

Gustav Parker Hibbett

Gustav Parker Hibbett is a Black poet, essayist, and MFA dropout. Originally from New Mexico, they are currently pursuing a PhD at Trinity College Dublin. They are a 2023 Obsidian...

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Mícheál McCann

Mícheál McCann was born in Derry City, and has published poems in The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, Queering the Green, Cyphers, Romance Options: Love Poems for...

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