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The Blue Cocktail by Audrey Molloy

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Audrey Molloy’s collection, The Important Things, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney First Collection Poetry Prize. Stephen Sexton’s citation noted, ‘In this striking, moving, bold debut, Audrey Molloy’s poems move between Ireland and Australia, parenthood and daughterhood, and the sensual worlds of the body, its attendant desires and intensities. Beyond these essential forces, The Important Things, in all its formal elegance, is a book of grief too. Its second part stuns with tenderness.’

It received the 2021 Anne Elder Award. The judges applauded ‘. . . a rebellious, subtle wit in this collection, matched by the poet’s capacity for evocative and moving vulnerability.
Molloy’s surprising, elegant poems explore intimacy, domesticity and grief, and as she
navigates this complex terrain her voice remains assured, self-aware and charismatic. This mature and grounded voice, unafraid to expose the fragility and vulnerability that come with life’s experiences, is suffused with human warmth that connects with and engages the reader. Though a highly personal collection, we see ourselves reflected in the poems and bear testament to the adjacency of loss and grief with re-discovery of joy and pleasure.’

Embracing experiences in her native Ireland and in Australia where she now lives, Audrey
Molloy’s second collection begins with a study of origins. From the recipe for an ‘emergency cocktail’ in the event of being stranded inland she explores ‘a closer understanding of what it means / to be a woman’. ‘What I Love’ begins ‘is afterwards’ while, in a dazzling variety of forms, The Blue Cocktail includes poems alert and alive to language itself, featuring misheard lyrics in a Dylan song, a night out in a Dublin club, ‘Postcards to Delphine’ and ‘Diaspora Blues’. There are moving poems about children and motherhood and a constant consciousness of the body and its desires. One of the exuberant poems is a love song to Sydney itself — ‘I want her, // I beg her — and we all throw her roses.’

If The Important Things was a book of promise The Blue Cocktail shows that guarantee has been secured.

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