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About the book
  • Published: 18 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409016144
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 128

The Art Of Life


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A magnificent collection from the much-loved Irish poet

In The Art of Life Paul Durcan takes us around County Mayo in his "filthy, two-door, bottle-green Opel Astra", stopping off at Westport and Achill Island, where he declares himself to be "globally sad", but "locally glad". Next he travels east to Dublin to hold in his arms his newborn granddaughter and thence to Tuscany, Poland and Japan. Along the way he reflects upon parental pride, the aches and pains of old age, the trim bottoms of snooker players, the wisdom of ex-wives and dogs on Sandymount Strand, while introducing us to a host of colourful characters, including a bishop, a roofer, a milkman, a priest and an unmarried mother.

Is there an art of living or is life a work of art? This magnificent collection - originally published on Paul Durcan's sixtieth birthday - reveals one of Ireland's most successful and popular poets at the height of his powers and continuing to challenge, amuse and delight.

  • Pub date: 18 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409016144
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 128

About the Author

Paul Durcan

Paul Durcan was born in Dublin in 1944. His first book, Endsville (1967), has been followed by more than twenty others, including The Berlin Wall Café (a Poetry Book Society Choice in 1985), Daddy, Daddy (winner of the Whitbread Award for Poetry in 1990), Crazy About Women (1991), A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems (1993), Give Me Your Hand (1994), Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999), The Art of Life (2004), The Laughter of Mothers (2007), Life is a Dream: 40 Years Reading Poems 1967–2007 (2009), Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have My Being (2012), and The Days of Surprise (2015). In 2001 Paul Durcan received a Cholmondeley Award. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2004 to 2007. He was conferred with a DLitt by Trinity College Dublin in 2009 and by University College Dublin in 2011. In 2014 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Irish Book Award. He is a member of Aosdána.

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Praise for The Art Of Life

“An embedded poet catching the strains, hysterical and sad, of contemporary Ireland”

Colm Tóibín, Guardian

“Paul Durcan's Ireland is the one we inhabit. At times he is ready to celebrate the bizarre and the ordinary; at other times he is full of surreal rage against both order and disorder”

Colm Tóibín

“Durcan is a God. He can break your heart in supermarket or petrol station. He is unafraid, masterful and exactly what this world needs more of: wild abandon, wild love and sheer mad genius”

Alice Sebold

“The world is all the richer for this man’s verse”

Irish Independent

“Durcan’s voice speaks clearly on the page in poems of harrowing intimacy, politics and love”

Carol Ann Duffy


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