This is a collection of my poetry, written over the last 20 years. Much of it stems from my experience as a protestant growing up close to the Fermanagh border. This proximity to the starkest face of the modern Northern Ireland conflict has shaped me far beyond the claustrophobic grasp of a time and a place where terrible things could happen and often did.
I think that experience deserves to be written about. As you will discover, the majority of these poems are written from a Protestant perspective. For better or for worse, this is my tribe and these are the people I still claim to know the best, years later. If you have any sense, you write about what you know. It couldn't be more 'niche' but it's my niche.
I suppose I am trying to be a lyrical witness to an era of almost incomprehensible cruelty. I don't know why it's so important to me. It just is.
I don't know how right I've got the voices or the places or the tone - you be the judge of that. But I can say that this collection is dedicated to the 'quiet people,' whatever church they went to. The people that saw far too much but found a way of enduring through our dirty, intimate, lethal little spasm of inter-christian slaughter. For when all's said and done and the self-regarding propaganda is stripped away that's exactly what it boils down to.
So thanks for running your eye over these offerings. They aren't for everyone - they are stark, partial, uncompromising and, lets be honest, some are better than others! But any feedback - for good or ill is gratefully received. I'm enjoying a modest following at the moment and many of the pieces you see have been published but not as a collection. Surfing editors, please note!
PS: I'm not too hot on the editing so please ignore the dates on each post. As a rule of thumb the ones closest to the top are the most recent.