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About the book
  • Published: 15 February 2017
  • ISBN: 9780701187972
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $24.99

A Herring Famine


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The much-anticipated second collection from the award-winning poet, Adam O’Riordan

The poems of this dazzling second collection are of contradictory impulses: of abundance and famine, of absence and presence, of endings and new beginnings. Here again are the intelligent, elegant and emotionally potent poems that are O’Riordan’s trademark, yet pushes into bolder territories, from a herring famine of 1907 to the Strangeways Prison Riot of 1990.

Bounding place and time, and urging into being both the living and the dead, this crystalline collection captures the struggle, folly and wonder of the human heart.

  • Pub date: 15 February 2017
  • ISBN: 9780701187972
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Adam O'Riordan

Adam O'Riordan was born in Manchester in 1982, where he currently lives. In 2008 he became the youngest Poet-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, the Centre for British Romanticism. His first collection In the Flesh (2010) win a Somerset Maugham Award. He is the Academic Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Praise for A Herring Famine

“In poems of poised lyricism, the book revealed an obsession with the line between beauty and violence, but also a fear of erasure, finding consolation in poetry’s potential to commemorate and commit to memory… Like Heaney’s, O’Riordan’s best poems reveal an unusually precise attention to the texture, weight and subtle music of language. “Glance from the barrel where the bones are bled”, begins “Ghost Ranch”. Read those lines of O’Riordan’s aloud and they force your whole mouth into movement, a trick that the Irish master all but perfected, bringing language to life… O’Riordan has a genuine gift.”

Ben Wilkinson, Guardian


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