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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores form in contemporary Irish poetry, focusing on the work of three poets from Ireland – David Wheatley, Caitríona O'Reilly, and Justin Quinn – who have also been loosely (if not always accurately) associated with formal conservatism, even with a new formalism. Quinn's first poetry collection, The O'o'a'a' Bird, was published in 1995, Wheatley's Thirst in 1997, and O'Reilly's The Nowhere Birds in 2001. Wheatley's Misery Hill (2000) is dominated by set forms, with the villanelle entitled ‘Poem’ finding memorable repeating lines. In ‘The Irish Efflorescence’, Quinn argues in relation to a new generation of poets from Ireland (including Wheatley, O'Reilly, Conor O'Callaghan, Vona Groarke, and Sinéad Morrissey) that while ‘Northern Irish poetry, in both the first and second waves, is preoccupied with the binary opposition of Ireland and England...[t]he youngest Irish poets...are not bounded in the same way by this opposition’.

Keywords: form, Irish poetry, poets, Ireland, David Wheatley, Caitríona O'Reilly, Justin Quinn, conservatism, formalism, Sinéad Morrissey

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