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Farmers Cross by Bernard O'Donoghue

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Shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry 2011.

Reviewed and selected by our poetry expert, Liam Parkin.

Bernard O’Donoghue’s new collection explores a multiple of histories and brings them forth in a modern voice. He has a very direct way of speaking to us, and his poems are incredibly multi-layered, so that what may seem as an innocent narrative really tells us more than we think we are reading (Menagerie is a prime example of such). This density allows a complex array of emotions to permeate us; ones that we are all too familiar with. O’Donoghue is an incredibly sincere poet, and one feels a certain closeness to this particular collection. It explores drama, exile, longing and wandering, and his medieval influence is apparent throughout. It is a collection that speaks volumes to the modern reader in a large and enduring world.

Click here to visit the Poetry Book Society page for Reading Groups and to download extracts from the T S Eliot Prize shortlist.


Farmers Cross by Bernard O'Donoghue

Shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry 2011.

This book brings together subtle and moving meditations on exile and belonging, travel and home, and honours many friends and loved ones along the way. In a series of poems that frequently recall the south-west Ireland of the author's childhood, Farmers Cross shows the author writing at his visionary and lyrical best.


Praise for Bernard O'Donoghue:

‘[On O'Donoghue's Selected Poems] His skill lies in rendering small delights and memories vivid and touching in lucid, deceptively simple verse.’ Alan Brownjohn, Sunday Times

‘[On O'Donoghue's Selected Poems] Gifted from the beginning, [O'Donoghue] has never wavered from the fidelities that have made him a very fine poet.’ Thomas McCarthy, Irish Times

‘O'Donoghue is an unusual and gifted poet. Nothing in his poems strikes me as false.’ Nick Laird, Daily Telegraph

‘Sane and beautiful, these poems are powerful in a way that is rare in contemporary verse.’ Guardian

About the Author

Bernard O'Donoghue

Bernard O'Donoghue was born in Cullen, Co. Cork in 1945. He is a Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, where he teaches Medieval English. He has published four collections of poetry, The Weakness (1991), Gunpowder winner of the 1995 Whitbread Award for Poetry), Here Nor There (1999) and Outliving (2003). His Selected Poems was published by Faber in 2008.

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Book Info

Publication date

21st March 2018


Bernard O'Donoghue

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Faber & Faber


64 pages


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