By Leeanne Quinn

Some Lives

Some Lives is the long-awaited second collection of poems by Drogheda-born Irish poet Leeanne Quinn, now based in Munich, Germany


All Poetry, Poetry from Ireland


“In Leeanne Quinn’s poetry, both her way of seeing and her way of saying not only draw in the reader but open up and expand that reader’s experience. BeforeYou (2012) Quinn’s impressive first collection, included poems that explored relationships, loss, art, urban life and a sequence prompted by Elizabeth Bishop’s letters. Her second is even more assured and its modest title belies its range and power. Those some lives, especially those of dissident, courageous activists Osip and Nadezhda Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, Anna Akhmatova, Jakob van Hoddis, are given voice and presence in this compelling collection, in poems that are challenging, allusive and engagingly mysterious.The heroic lives of others, artist Nano Reid’s paintings, an elegy for her sister and Quinn’s own life in Munich are brought before us in vivid, sensuous poems.

Narrative and lyric poems are in counterpoint, as are past and present, now and then, in a beautifully orchestrated collection and Quinn’s handling of rhythm and repetition is pitch perfect. Magical moments as in ‘The sun disappears like the sun,/ going down as a favour to the moon’ and moments of clear-sighted intelligence and resilience – ‘Don’t sit out the storm,/ don’t pray that it passes./ Move as it moves/ and move in it’ – are captured by this poet in her own unique voice.”

— Niall MacMonagle

01 October 2020
140 x 216 mm
65 pp

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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