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Liner Notes by Ciaran Berry


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From brief lyrics that examine a mixtape or a plectrum to larger meditations on the connections between the life of Robert Frost and a trip to the supermarket in the snow, the poems in Ciaran Berry’s third collection consider questions of what it means to grow up somewhere and grow away from somewhere. His voice is by turns celebratory, elegiac, inquisitive and quietly humorous, as he conjures a past that’s ‘bric-à-brac and hand-me-down’.

As these poems trace their way backwards towards a ‘phone box lit up at the corner / like a spaceship that will never take off’, we meet along the road everyone from Elvis to Dolly Parton and Dolly the Sheep.

In his hands, time and place shift shape and take on new form as, like the couple driving through upstate New York in one of the collection’s later poems, we find ourselves entering the town of Ovid.

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