Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Christopher MiddletonNotes on a Viking Prow
(PN Review 10)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Lehbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

This article is taken from PN Review 105, Volume 22 Number 1, September - October 1995.

Offshore Investments Justin Quinn

The first poem that I had published appeared in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times some years ago. Knowing the ratio of submissions to the number the literary editor prints (about one a month), I hardly expected that they would take something and was very surprised when they did. Up to that point my writing was something about which only close family and a few college friends knew. Then over the weeks following that first publication acquaintances, distant cousins, old flames from my teens would tell me that they had seen it in the papers.

It was a thrilling Saturday. It was interesting to hear the reactions to the tricky six-liner. I remember writing it and trying to express my intentions (the fallacies apart) as clearly as possible. Then, when it was published most people said that they couldn't work it out. A few people did respond to what I was trying to say: but still, the experience of seeing puzzlement in the faces of so many people whom I had known for years was more instructive than any workshop. I wasn't really proud of this obscurity (although it would have let me off the hook if I had reacted arrogantly to thetr baffiement). I had wrtten the poem in the hope that it would be read by friends, or people like my friends, and that I would entertain them, involve thetr imaginations in ways they hadn't bargained for. It was clear on that Saturday that ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image