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The much-anticipated second collection from the award-winning poet, Adam O’Riordan

The poems of this dazzling second collection are of contradictory impulses: of abundance and famine, of absence and presence, of endings and new beginnings. Here again are the intelligent, elegant and emotionally potent poems that are O’Riordan’s trademark, yet pushes into bolder territories, from a herring famine of 1907 to the Strangeways Prison Riot of 1990.

Bounding place and time, and urging into being both the living and the dead, this crystalline collection captures the struggle, folly and wonder of the human heart.


In poems of poised lyricism, the book revealed an obsession with the line between beauty and violence, but also a fear of erasure, finding consolation in poetry’s potential to commemorate and commit to memory… Like Heaney’s, O’Riordan’s best poems reveal an unusually precise attention to the texture, weight and subtle music of language. “Glance from the barrel where the bones are bled”, begins “Ghost Ranch”. Read those lines of O’Riordan’s aloud and they force your whole mouth into movement, a trick that the Irish master all but perfected, bringing language to life… O’Riordan has a genuine gift.

Ben Wilkinson, Guardian

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    February 15, 2017

    Chatto & Windus

    80 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

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