Prof. Adrian Frazier MRIA (Member of Royal Irish Academy), launched Lorna Shaughnessy’s third book “Anchored”, on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at the More Institute, in the National University of Ireland Galway. Lorna is a Galway poet, translator and lecturer. Currently she lectures at this University in Spanish, and leads the poetry workshop in the MA in Writing. This is her third book of poems in English (she also publishes translations from Spanish). After Prof Frazier’s talk, Lorna read some of her poems from this book.This book launch was attended by many writers, lecturers, and students.
‘Full and various, Anchored establishes Lorna Shaughnessy’s range and power. From meditation on the landscape of the West of Ireland to the exploration of memories, personal or communal, treasured or pathological, to myths of sacrifice and betrayal, the various topographies are intimately connected by an authentic voice and feeling. The language is precise, on occasion subdued or suddenly adventurous: starlings rise ‘in a calligrapher’s upward stroke’, while the capacity of words to convey their own opposites makes a defiant cacophony in ‘Iphigenia unwritten’. This is a book with shadowy depths and bright enlargements of our many worlds.’ Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
‘At times beguilingly personal and story-driven, at times warmly and meditatively elusive, the poems in Anchoredreflect Lorna Shaughnessy’s discovery of a deepened artistic resource. This beautiful book resonates with the sense of a commitment to wholeness by a writer whose gifts include the ability to unite the roles of teller and singer, and the courage, whatever the subject, to marshal the reader towards the heart of poetry.’ Martin Dyar
Anchored is Lorna Shaughnessy’s third collection of poems and explores what it means to be anchored in the physical world, in the limitations of the human body, in the present and in the past.
The themes of witness and survival seen in previous collections are revisited in ‘The Injured Past’, a sequence of poems based on events in mid-Ulster in the 1970s. Conflict and the dynamics of power are also central to the ‘Aulis Monologues’ inspired by Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia when the Greek flight is anchored in Aulis, awaiting departure for Troy.
These are challenging poems that penetrate the ambivalent nature of what it means to be ‘anchored’ in many realms of experience, whether emotional, physical or political. Multiple voices and perspectives draw the reader into close quarters with the realities of human limitation at times expressed with candid directness, at times through metaphors that surprise and even startle, but always in language that is precise, probing and fresh.
Lorna Shaughnessy was born in Belfast and lives in Co. Galway, Ireland. She has published two previous poetry collections, Torching the Brown River and Witness Trees (Salmon, 2008 and 2011), and her work was selected for the Forward Book of Poetry, 2009. She is also a translator of Spanish and South American Poetry. Her most recent translation was of poetry by Galician writer Manuel Rivas, The Disappearance of Snow (Shearsman Press, 2012).