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I welcome this first collection by Anton Floyd (Falling Into Place from Revival Press, 2018) with open arms because it is a breath of fresh air on the Irish poetry scene. A long time in the making, it is a very revealing book about the poet and his makeup. The places in ‘Falling Into Place’ are unveiled with each poem to make a whole, compact collection. There is also the idea running throughout the collection that language (and poetry itself) is an exploration of form. In Floyd’s voice there’s an elegiac undertone of time and loss.  These features cohere, for instance, in the title poem of the collection:

      …Falling into place,
      wherever there’s open ground
      tiny seeds like silent letters
      knit themselves into the soil.
      There, each will sleep in winter dark
      dowsing a dream of itself…

The poems move in and out of each other, revealing greater depth in theme and approach. Nature is his forte though it would be misleading to label the collection this way. The reader will find between its covers touchstones of Homer’s Odyssey, O’Grady’s Wandering Celt, Serrat’s Mediterranean, the poet’s own spiritual journey, love of family and friends, Cyprus and, of course, Ireland with its social and cultural diversities; worked on and brought together under the shadow of An tSeithe Mhór, from where it all falls into place.

John Liddy, born in County Cork but raised in Limerick, is a poet whose 11 collections include Wine and Hope/Vino y Esperanza (1999, Archione Editorial Madrid), Cast-a-Net (2003, Archione Editorial Madrid), The Well: New and Selected Poems (2007, Revival Press), Gleanings (2010, Revival Press). His most recent book is Madrid (2018, Revival Press). He co-founded The Stony Thursday Book with Jim Burke and edits occasional issues. He is on the advisory board of The Hong Kong Review. Liddy currently lives in Madrid, where he works as a teacher and librarian.