in Landscape of the Body, Irish poet Lani O’Hanlon’s debut collection of poems, dance is, variously, a way for her young mother “to pay the milk bill, the bread bill”, a practical method for friends to come together, and “a homage to the women they called unmarried mothers”. It is, in other words, at the very heart of life.
At the heart of O’Hanlon’s poetry is connection and community, and the poems reach towards formative moments in the poet’s childhood as they also offer guidance for the road ahead. Sensual, as one might expect of poems of movement and the body, O’Hanlon’s are brightly perceptive and fully alert to the lives of others who are never reduced to mere bystanders by her often striking and light- footed performances. Landscape of the Body explores love, loss, fellowship and sisterhood with a sense of presence, emotional intelligence and confidence that is difficult not to be moved by.
“Her work sings of the sacred wild within the body, the sacred wild of the Earth. Though her poetry measures the darkness both body and planet are experiencing, her work is nonetheless redemptive, sensuous and celebratory.” —Grace Wells
“Out of the body in movement and straight into her empowering dance of community, Lani O’Hanlon’s poems are ciphers and signs made by a great and important soul at work in the world of Irish poetry.” —Thomas McCarthy
Landscape of the Body
16 November 2023
82 pp. 140 x 216 mm
ISBN 978-1-915629-19-7 paperback, €12.50