Visiting Poets

Ciaran Berry

Headshot of Ciaran Berry
In the opening poem of Ciaran Berry’s acclaimed third collection, Liner Notes (The Gallery Press, 2018), the speaker’s engagement with the past is first compared to a film playing backwards, then to reading the liner notes on a familiar album raised “grail-like into the wayward light.” In Berry’s work, there is no one way of engaging with the complexities of the past that could ever be sufficient. Reaching back into the recesses of a life growing up in Ireland that seems at once familiar and othered, these poems—both celebratory and elegiac—veer, rewind, and roam between subjects as diverse as the death of Elvis, a visit to a butterfly garden and Dolly the cloned sheep. Berry is also the author of The Dead Zoo (The Gallery Press, 2013), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and The Sphere of Birds (SIU Press, 2008), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. Originally from the West of Ireland, he lives in West Hartford and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Trinity College.

Poetry Center Reading

Winter 2019