By Leeanne Quinn

Before You

Debut collection of poems by Drogheda-born poet


Loss and memory. The poems of the first section of Leeanne Quinn’s debut collection, Before You, explore the intimacies of a sibling relationship, and revisit it from a distance travelled since, where new experience is “the earth’s irreproachable / response to your absence”. Pain is evoked, sensed never far from the surface, but the telling remains oblique, the particulars refusing a simple summary or conclusion.

Life goes on, in what one of the poems in the second section calls “this awful business of living”, a variant on a phrase by Elizabeth Bishop whose letters, in counterpoint to the book’s first section, prompt and provide an external departure point and reference.

“These are intimate and finely-tuned lyrics, observant of subjective states and patterns of shared experience… a debut of considerable depth and maturity.”
—Lucy Collins, The Stinging Fly

ISBN 9781906614485 paperback
216 x 140 mm, 67 pp
Feb 2012

Additional information

Weight.15 kg
Dimensions216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781906614485 paperback
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 67 pp
  • Published: : Feb 2012

About The Author


Leeanne Quinn was born in Drogheda. Her debut collection, Before You, was published in 2012 and was highly commended in the Forward Prize for Poetry 2013. Her poems have been widely anthologised with poems appearing in Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 (Penguin, 2015), Berryman's Fate: A Centenary Celebration in Verse (Arlen, 2014), If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Dedalus, 2014), The Forward Book of Poetry 2013 (Faber, 2012), among others. Her work has also been published in a variety of magazines and journals including The Irish Times, The Stinging Fly, and The SHOp and broadcast on RTÉ Radio One. In 2012 she was the recipient of an Arts Council Bursary Award for Literature. She has recently moved to Munich, Germany. Her second collection, Some Lives, is published in October 2020. REVIEW EXCERPTS "Before You is a book of sparing and hard-earned poems; it is a wonderful achievement.’ — Paul Perry "These are intimate and finely-tuned lyrics, observant of subjective states and patterns of shared experience… It marks a debut of considerable depth and maturity." — Lucy Collins, The Stinging Fly "Leeanne Quinn's debut collection of poems, Before You, hums with an inner life." — Tracy Youngblom, New Hibernia Review