Wednesday, May 10, 2006
John Brown has edited a new anthology called Magnetic North, featuring 'twenty-nine emerging poets from the North of Ireland'.
Would anyone publish or take seriously an anthology of Irish writing featuring only writers from the Republic? I hope not. It would be an entirely pointless exercise.
Yet writers from Northern Ireland, who get to appear in Irish and British anthologies, need their own anthology too.
I don't see the point. It's provincialism, which is not, I would have thought, something Northern Ireland needs more of. Though I suppose the raid on Co. Louth for Conor O'Callaghan might count as a cross-border initiative of sorts.
It's like some dodgy 3 for 2 offer at Tesco's. Irish Northern Irish poet? British Northern Irish poet? At no extra cost we'll throw in a Northern Irish Northern Irish poet too.