Crash & Burn by Michael O'Neill
In Crash & Burn, Michael O'Neill describes his treatment for cancer of the oesophagus. The volume has four parts - devoted, in turn, to the preoperative chemotherapy; the operation; the post-operative chemotherapy; and a coda. Everywhere life and death are in close contact in a volume that is uncompromisingly unafraid to deal with the realities of illness while retaining humour, grace and eloquence. The collection, though emotionally devastating, still discovers and celebrates beauty sought and found in the act of writing, and reading, poetry.