This notice arrived by email; I have a great deal of regard for John Deane's work.
“Give Dust a Tongue : A faith and poetry memoir” from Columba Press
“Semibreve”, a new collection of poems, from Carcanet Press.Music, a stony, damp and deeply alive landscape (both Ireland and the Holy Land), a passionate and searching engagement with God – specifically with the local and physical God that is the central figure of the gospels – these are poems with all of John Deane’s familiar richness. A deeply welcome collection. – Rowan Williams
The memoir traces Deane’s progress from childhood on Achill Island, his upbringing in an unquestioned Catholic faith, through schooling and seminary life to a realisation that faith appears to be a matter of will and understanding; after leaving the seminary, Deane goes on to discover poetry, founds Poetry Ireland, the national poetry society, and its journal, Poetry Ireland Review, and makes poetry his life and finds, through it, new approaches to faith. The book includes many of Deane’s best-known poems and a new, major poetry sequence, “According to Lydia”. The title of the book, Give Dust a Tongue, comes from a poem by the 17th century poet, George Herbert.
The blurb on the new collection of poetry reads: “The poems in Semibreve combine lyric grace with a fiercely questing intelligence, pushing against the mysteries of faith in a fractured world, paying tribute to the value of human life and love. Running through the book is a thread of elegy for the poet’s brother, who died of cancer in 2010. The collection concludes with a sequence describing a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Throughout, Deane gives poetic voice to the paradox of human existence as simultaneously ‘blessed and broken’.”
Both books will be presented together at a reading in The Loyola Institute, Trinity College, Dublin on Wednesday 29th April, at 7.30 p.m., introduced by author and abbot of Glenstal Abbey, Mark Patrick Hederman O.S.B., and again on Achill Island as part of the Heinrich Böll weekend, on Sunday 3rd May at 2.30 p.m. in the Cyril Grey Hall, Dugort, Achill Island.