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The River By Jane Clarke

The River by Jane Clarke

Condition - Very Good
Only 1 left


First collection by one of Ireland's most distinctive new lyrical voices, winner of the Listowel Writers' Week Poetry Collection Prize. Her poems are rooted in rural life but universal in their appeal. The River was shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2016.

The River Summary

The River by Jane Clarke

The textured language, vivid imagery and musical rhythms of Jane Clarke's debut collection convey a distinctive voice and vision. With lyrical grace these poems contemplate shadow and sorrow as well as creativity and connection. The threat of loss is never far away but neither is delight in the natural world and what it offers. Rooted in rural life, this poet of poignant observation achieves restraint and containment while communicating intense emotions. The rivers that flow through the collection evoke the inevitability of change and our need to find again and again how to go on. Shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2016.

The River Reviews

'These are subtle, tender poems of love, loss and growing up on a farm in rural Ireland. Jane Clarke writes with a fine eye for remembered detail in language marked by good farm words like "slane and sickle", "clout and stud nails". The river Suck, and the river of life, run through the book and the farmland where the poet was brought up. Every poem leaves something in the mind: the beauty and cruelty of farming, the life of land and animals, of parents remembered in their strength, and in their ageing. A quiet, powerful collection' - Gillian Clarke. 'These poems burn with the ferocity of their intent in supple and profound music. Many of them are rooted in family life and the seasonal farm work Jane Clarke depicts with such respect and compassion. Others treat of adult relationships in the face of a beautiful, if brutal world. The river music is sometimes the real river music of the Suck and other rivers with their riparian birds and hunger for the sea. Her philosophical bent finds the river in us, in the emotional fluxes, whether in the rapids or the calm shallows. This is not pastoral poetry though there's plenty of pasture in it, and hens and hay and alders and willows and heifers. 'There's a visionary at work here, a shaper and shifter, moving us in language that is plain, exact, and true. She invokes Heraclitus' famous river that can't be stepped in twice; she could as justly invoke Hopkins' Heraclitean fire. And the comfort of the Resurrection - for nature to Clarke is a site of renewal and integration. There is both heartbreak and heart's ease in this auspicious debut from an accomplished craftswoman' - Paula Meehan. 'Clear, direct, lovely: Jane Clarke's voice slips into the Irish tradition with such ease, it is as though she had always been at the heart of it' - Anne Enright.

About Jane Clarke

Jane Clarke was born in 1961 and grew up on a farm in Co. Roscommon. She lives with her partner in Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow, where she combines writing with her work as a creative writing tutor and group facilitator. She holds a BA in English and Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MPhil in Writing from the University of South Wales, and has a background in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Her first collection, The River, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2015. It was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize, given for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry evoking the spirit of a place. In 2016 she won the Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry and the inaugural Listowel Writers' Week Poem of the Year Award. She was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Literary Bursary in 2017. All the Way Home, Jane's illustrated booklet of poems in response to a First World War family archive held in the Mary Evans Picture Library, London, was published by Smith|Doorstop in 2019. Her second book-length collection, When the Tree Falls (Bloodaxe Books, 2019), was shortlisted for the 2020 Pigott Poetry Prize, the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Farmgate Cafe National Poetry Award 2020, as well as being longlisted for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize 2020. Jane also edited Origami Doll, New and Collected Shirley McClure (Arlen House, 2019) and guest-edited The North 61: Irish Issue (The Poetry Business, 2019) with Nessa O'Mahony. In May 2020 Jane Clarke presented The Miners' Way, a half-hour feature for Radio 4 that was chosen for Radio 4's Pick of the Week. This included a new sequence of poems as well as one from When the Tree Falls.

Additional information

The River by Jane Clarke
Used - Very Good
Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Short-listed for Ondaatje Prize 2016
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - The River