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This review is taken from PN Review 90, Volume 19 Number 4, March - April 1993.

FIRSTS, SECONDS, THIRDS AND BEYOND Sara Berkeley, Home Movie Nights (Raven Arts Press/Thistledown Press) n.p.
Michael O'Loughlin, The Diary of a Silence (Raven Arts Press) £2.95
Rosita Boland, Muscle Creek (Raven Arts Press) £4.95
Greg Delanty, Southwards (Dedalus Press) £5.95
Gerard Fanning, Easter Snow (Dedalus Press) £4.95
Jennifer Olds, The Half-Acre Ranch (Staple First Editions) £2.50
Susan Wicks, Singing Under Water (Faber) £4.99
Graham Mort, Snow From The North (Dangaroo Press) £7.95
Wendy Mulford, The Bay of Naples (Reality Studios) £5.99
Peter Hughes, The Metro Poems (The Many Press) £3.50
Donald Atkinson, Graffiti For Hard Hearts (Littlewood Arc), £5.95
Linda France, Red (Bloodaxe Books) £5.95
Harry Clifton, The Desert Route (Bloodaxe Books) £5.95
Pauline Stainer, Sighting The Slave Ship (Bloodaxe Books) £5.95
Tony Flynn, Body Politic (Bloodaxe Books) £5.95

Sara Berkeley has been acclaimed as one of Ireland's brightest young hopes.

Home Movie Nights, her second collection, gives us poetry of undoubted eloquence and music but whose individuality is not yet fully emergent. McGuckian is the key influence here in work thai js full of seasons, months, flowers, colors and weather, and which acknowledges no barriers between the self and the natural world. As with McGuckian, this approach is used to investigate the body as an emotional register and to explore unacknowledged levels of consciousness. 'Wintering', a fairly typical piece, begins with a jumble of images - wounds, nettles, childhood fright - used to describe an argument and ends: 'My hand digests the slowest nettle juice,/ I have no scars to show/ But I have heard/ The muttered refrain of wintering/ Tremble up from a flurry of dried leaves/ At your heel; it goes -/ Bury me, I shall grow in spring.' The way the T in that passage disappears into and then re-emerges from language already heavy with association could be said to enact the cumulative effect of Home Movie Nights, namely the strong sense throughout of someone using a ready-made emotional language and not always crossing the gap between act and voice.

The Diary of a Silence is Michael O'Loughlin's third collection and one that seems closer in tone to English poets like Romer and Hofmann than much contemporary Irish writing. O'Loughlin has a strong sense of Ireland as a part of ...


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