By Mark Roper

Beyond Stillness

NOTE Publication date is 24 October 2022. Copies purchased in advance will be mailed in the week of publication

A true hymn to heaven and earth, Beyond Stillness is a moving, sensitive exploration of our relationship with the damaged natural world, seen up close and often in astonishing, affecting detail.

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A true hymn to heaven and earth, Beyond Stillness is a moving, sensitive exploration of our relationship with the damaged natural world, seen up close and often in astonishing, affecting detail.

Comprising poems that express, often simultaneously, both wonder and grief, with his trademark precision Mark Roper’s new collection observes and sketches the world around him with an enviable lightness, even as his perspective gradually widens to include memories of his upbringing, a growing awareness of his own health and mortality.
Throughout, we hear the naturalist’s self-doubt (“If I could learn / to go without saying” – ‘River’) but this only brings us closer to both the human witness and to the greater subject of his fascination.

Greatly admired for his distinctive, sensitive depictions of the natural world, Roper is no stranger to listening, and the silence that arrives at the end of many of the poems in Beyond Stillness is one that brims with meaning, and which, with unerring judgement, he allows to ring.

Roper’s voice remains level, calmly attentive, concerned less with its own formal qualities than with the things of this world to which it ascribes an absolute value.” —Caitríona O’Reilly, The Irish Times (on Bindweed)

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About The Author

Author

MARK ROPER was born in Derbyshire, England in 1951. He moved to Ireland in 1980. His collections include The Hen Ark (Peterloo, 1990), which won the 1992 Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection, Catching The Light (Peterloo, 1997) and The Home Fire (Abbey Press, 1998). Reviewing the latter for The Irish Literary Supplement, Bill Tinley described Roper as "one of the most accomplished and engaging poets writing in Ireland at present". Whereabouts was published in 2005 by Abbey Press & Peterloo and Even So: New & Selected Poems was published by Dedalus Press in 2008. His latest collection, Bindweed, (Dedalus Press, 2017), has received excellent reviews and was shortlisted for The Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2018. A Gather of Shadow, Dedalus 2012, was also shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award and won the Michael Hartnett Award in 2014. The River Book: A Celebration of the Suir, a collaboration with photographer Paddy Dwan, was published in 2010. The pair have since published 2 further collaborations, The Backstrand (2013), and Comeragh (2018). They are currently at work on a book about the County Waterford coastline. The Invader, an opera composed by Eric Sweeney to a libretto by Mark Roper, was premièred in Ireland in May 2014. A second opera from the pair, The Green One, received its première in October 2016. Mark Roper has also worked on many other collaborative ventures, including projects with photographer Margaret O’Brien-Moran, painter Susan Hughes and choreographer Libby Seward. Mark was Editor of Poetry Ireland Review for 1999. He was the recipient of Arts Council Bursaries in 2010, 2013 and 2016. A highly experienced Creative Writing teacher, Mark has run courses and workshops in many different settings, including schools, prisons, and senior citizen centres. From September 2002 to May 2003 he was writer-in-residence at Waterford Regional Hospital. Website: http://www.mark-roper.com/