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Taking Liberties by Leontia Flynn

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Taking Liberties is the fifth collection by Leontia Flynn, regarded by many as one of Ireland's most important poets. These poems emerge from the experience of being a single mother in Belfast, and against a background of seemingly continuous crisis. Political upheaval and anxiety, violence and death are all registered in these poems, which ask questions about where independence is balanced by our relationships with others, and where our inner lives meet the globally connected world. These are poems about cities - living, travelling and working in cities, getting sick and dying in cities - but also about retreating from all that: to her daughter at home, the budgie, cat and tortoise, or escaping to the park, the municipal pool, the Irish countryside, Newfoundland, or Paris, or into a Nina Simone song.

This is a necessary book - a book very much of our time - with a consistent tone that is brave and bleak, but which also carries with it some much-needed humour, and - as always with Leontia Flynn - a wealth of beautiful writing.

Jonathan Cape

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