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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Magnetic North

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.

1 comment:

sean lysaght said...

The title says 'emerging' from the North of Ireland. Does that mean leaving the province? Did Muldoon 'emerge' from the North when he went to Princeton? Heaney, when he went to Glanmore? Mahon, to London? Laird, to London? How about a separate anthology for Northern poets who stayed, instead of 'emerging'?
And how come, instead of emerging, Southern poets go into exile?