> Skip to content

'The present selection serves to confirm his almost iconic place in contemporary Irish poetry' - Derek Mahon, Irish Times

Since the publication of his first book in 1967, Paul Durcan has made satirical, celebratory and extraordinarily moving poetry out of his country's fortunes and misfortunes. His readings are legendary and each new collection, from his collaboration with Brain Lynch, Endsville (1967) to Daddy, Daddy (winner of the 1990 Whitbread Poetry Award), Crazy about Women (1991) and Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999) has borne out the truth of Ezra Pound's dictum that "literature is news that stays news".

This book contains Durcan's own selection from his work. It is a literary milestone that has set the seal on his reputation as a poet of international standing.


To have heard him adds another pleasure to the reading of the work- but the voice speaks clearly on the page in poems of harrowing intimacy, politics and love. He holds a mirror up to himself: but we can see ourselves over his shoulder, whoever we are

Carol Ann Duffy, Guardian

Durcan's... tall stories, dialogues and choruses, remind us that poetry can have popular reach and embody a genuinely countrywide spirit, without sacrificing integrity

Glyn Maxwell, Independent on Sunday

Durcan's mastery of tone, his manic confidentiality, his blithe expositions of the seemingly unthinkable, his hypnotic repetitions of what other poets would hardly dare to utter once, all help to give [his work] an air of audacious authority unique in contemporary poetry

Brendan Kennnelly, Irish Times

For him poetry is story-telling and his stories are told in a direct fashion that makes them totally accessible... Paul Durcan's poetry sings

Roger McGough, Sunday Tribune

Like all first-class comedians, he is deadly serious

Terry Eagleton, Stand

Paul Durcan has a great comic gift

Colb Toibin, Sunday Independent

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Snail In My Prime
    Paul Durcan



    June 30, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    288 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ
  • Snail In My Prime
    Paul Durcan

    Trade Paperback


    August 1, 2002

    Harvill Press

    288 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

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

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

Also by Paul Durcan