By Joseph Woods

Ocean Letters

Third collection of poems by prize-winning Irish poet now living in Burma


In this third collection of his poems, Joseph Woods again returns to the theme of travel, at once deepening and expanding the concerns of his earlier work, while he also explores the meaning of return and homecoming, of being abroad in one’s own place and of seeing the familiar from a new perspective.

Childhood memories and experiences are renewed and refreshed, the past and the future echoing each other, from the child in the opening poem “imagining myself in some ship’s open hold / while Morse code drifted in from the kitchen” to the closing poem where an old man on “a wet lane of fuchsia-laden hedges / on the damp island of Chiloé” might have “stravaged out / of my country decades ago”.

ISBN 978190661442 3 Paperback
216 x 140 mm, 68 pp

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About The Author


JOSEPH WOODS is the award-winning author of three poetry collections. Sailing to Hokkaido (2001) won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award and, together with his second, Bearings, was reissued by Dedalus in a single volume entitled Cargo in 2010. His most recent, Ocean Letters (2011), has been translated into Hungarian and was awarded the Irodalmi Jelen Prize in 2013. A past recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Award and of the Katherine and Patrick Kavanagh Fellowship, he was for many years Director of Poetry Ireland. Widely travelled, he lived in Japan in the early 1990s and has travelled extensively and often in Asia. He has edited various publications including, with Irene de Angelis, Our Shared Japan (Dedalus Press, 2007), an anthology exploring the influence of Japanese poetry and culture in general on Irish writing. He moved to Myanmar in the years leading up to democratic elections and now lives in Harare, Zimbabwe with his family. “A poet with the whole world in his hip-pocket.” — James J McAuley