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 Monasterboice, Co. Louth. She studied at University College Dublin, University College Cork, and holds a PhD in American Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Her first collection of poetry, Before You, was published by Dedalus Press in 2012 and highly commended in the Forward Prize for Poetry 2013. Her second collection, Some Lives, was published in 2020 and noted as a ‘Book of the Year’ by The Irish Times and The Irish Independent. She is the recipient of three Arts Council Bursary awards, most recently in 2021. Her poems have been widely anthologised, appearing in Queering The Green: Post-2000 Queer Irish Poetry (Lifeboat Press, 2021), Hold Open the Door (UCD Press, 2020), Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 (Penguin, 2015), and The Forward Book of Poetry 2013 (Faber, 2012). With Joseph Woods, she co-edited Romance Options, an anthology of contemporary love poems from Ireland (Dedalus Press, 2022). She lives in Vienna, Austria.