By Gerard Smyth

A Song of Elsewhere

Gerard Smyth’s seventh collection of poems, featuring poems from Paris, Lisbon and the American Midwest


Gerard Smyth is a poet strongly associated with his native Dublin, much of his previous work focusing on the people and places of that city and their legacy and effect on the poet and his generation.

In A Song of Elsewhere, as the title implies, his gaze is somewhat more outward-looking, and the call of place is less that of the immediately familiar. While Dublin might still be present as a “hunting ground for life’s necessities”, the interaction with a wider geographical world (Paris, Lisbon and, in particular, the American Midwest feature prominently) brings the reward of new perspective, as it also brings an increased appreciation of the role of the travelling poet / musician, and what one poem calls “the sorceries of the blues guitarist”.

ISBN 978910251072 Paperback
216 x 140 mm, 82 pp

Additional information

Weight.15 kg
Dimensions216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 978910251072
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 82 pp
  • Published: : February 2015

About The Author


Gerard Smyth was born in 1951 in Dublin where he still lives and where he worked for over 40 years with The Irish Times, writing on cultural matters and as Managing Editor with responsibility for the paper’s literary and arts coverage. His poetry has appeared in publications in Ireland, Britain and the United States, since the late 1960s, as well as in translation. His eight collections include A Song of Elsewhere (2015), The Fullness of Time: New and Selected Poems (2010), as well as Daytime Sleeper (2002), A New Tenancy (2004) and The Mirror Tent (2007). His first volumes of poems were published by New Writers’s Press in the late 1960s and 1970s. He was the 2012 recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota. He is co-editor, with Pat Boran, of If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song which was Dublin’s One City One Book in 2014. He is a member of Aosdána and Poetry Editor of The Irish Times. See also PERSONAL STATEMENT "At this stage of my writing life memory and personal places have a central role in my work. Since my first poems in the 1960s, the irresistible appeal of poetry has been its multiple range of functions – as a form of succinct storytelling, as melody and soundscape, as a medium to capture the spirit of place, memorialise and elegise, lament, pay homage, bear witness and celebrate. What the lyric can achieve surpasses all other forms. Jane Hirshfield nailed it when she said that poetry is “as grand a technology as I know for the netting and distillation of vastness, condensing huge swaths of existence into something portable, memorable”.