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PN Review 276
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This review is taken from PN Review 271, Volume 49 Number 5, May - June 2023.

Cover of Queering the Green: Post-2000 Queer Irish Poetry
Joe Carrick-VartyPaul Maddern, editor, Queering the Green: Post-2000 Queer Irish Poetry (The Lifeboat Press) £15
Queering the Green

Truth be told, I’ve always found poetry anthologies a little impenetrable. Is that bad? Am I wrong to feel this way? As mode of poetry publishing, the anthology certainly makes a lot of sense. The anthology does what the magazine does, but on a larger scale, and often with a curated, pre-packaged theme. Be it the prose poem or haiku, be it poems about rivers or climate change, there’s just more of everything; more pages, more poets, more poems, which, on paper, sounds great. In today’s culture we’re always asking for more… more bang for your buck, more meat on the bone. But why, then, do poetry anthologies leave me cold? I can happily guzzle a poetry magazine, containing three-ish poems per poet, and feel tantalisingly nourished enough to, perhaps, having loved a particular poem, hop online to buy the book (if only to be disappointed by said book a week later). Maybe it’s the brevity of each poet’s carved space, no one shouting too loudly within the chorus of voices. Or maybe it’s my attention span, which is more at ease when purveying less than more. Either way, it’s safe to say I’ve never had that feeling of nourishment from a poetry anthology… until now.

In the introduction to Queering the Green: Post-2000 Queer Irish Poetry, the anthology’s editor Paul Maddern writes: ‘It is my belief that Irish identity is being radically reconfigured; what constitutes ‘Irishness’ is up for debate as never before in recent times – and queer Irish poets are leading the way in asking how that ...

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