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Our Killer City - isms, chisms, chasms and schisms: essays and poems by Rita Ann Higgins

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“Rita Ann Higgins has always been a poet with a distinctive stance, never shirking her responsibilities as a public voice speaking on behalf of those who do not possess such a platform. When she states that ‘Galway seagulls’ are ‘unfussy, / they go straight for the jugular’,  (‘Shades of Truth’,  Tongulish, Bloodaxe Books) she might well be referring to herself. ‘Unfussy’ is one of her characteristics. She is also both jocular and jugular, two traits that combine to make her a singular voice in Irish poetry. She has long been a tough-minded, waspish critic of the establishment, calling to mind the satiric tongue-lashings of Austin Clarke, a poet whose authoritative voice was one of the few in his day to point out the failures, smugness and hypocrisies of the new State he had witnessed coming into existence... The social and political commentary in Higgins’ work might be jocular in tone and language but this never overshadows the gravity of her sympathies and compassion... While she can be ‘entertaining’, nothing is packaged for easy consumption. Any impression of spontaneity in her ‘conversational tone’ is misleading; she is very precise in the words she chooses.”
Gerard Smyth
Poetry Ireland Review
Our Killer City: isms, chisms, chasms and schisms gathers together articles from Rita Ann Higgins’  Sunday Independent ‘This Woman’s Life’ column, as well as other select essays and poems, many of which are previously unpublished.

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