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
Dimensions 216 × 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 in 1978 and grew up there and in nearby Monasterboice, Co. Louth. Her debut collection, Before You, was published in 2012 and was highly commended in the Forward Prize for Poetry 2013. Her second collection, Some Lives, was published in October 2020. Quinn’s poems have been widely anthologised, appearing in the Ireland Chair of Poetry Anthology (UCD Press, 2020), 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 been published in a variety of magazines and journals, including Poetry Ireland Review, PN Review, Long Poem Magazine, Cyphers, The Moth, The Stinging Fly, The Honest Ulsterman, The Blue Nib, Poethead, The Irish Times, and The SHOp and broadcast on RTÉ Radio One. She was the recipient of an Arts Council Bursary Award for Literature in 2012 and again in 2018. In 2018 she completed a residency at the Heinrich Böll Cottage on Achill Island. Quinn holds a PhD in American Literature from Trinity College Dublin, and has also studied at University College Dublin, and University College Cork. After living in Dublin for many years, she recently moved to Munich, Germany. REVIEW EXCERPTS “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. “Crowds of the dead walk these pages, her fine lyrics exercising pitch-perfect line control … The title poem, a tremendous sustained feat, weaves blocks of compelling narrative prose poetry with her delicate translations of van Hoddis … The scope here is astounding.” — Martina Evans on Some Lives, The Irish Times