By Mary Noonan

The Fado House

Debut collection of poems from Cork based poet, winner of the Listowel Prize for best collection


Shortlisted for both the The Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for a First Collection, and The Strong/Shine Award, and the winner of the Listowel Prize for best unpublished collection, Mary Noonan’s debut volume of poems The Fado House introduces a poet of real achievement and great promise. Noonan’s poems are characterised by an intense musicality and a determinedly outward look, the range of the work (poems inspired by music, by visual art, by myth, by time abroad, and by the magic of family, friendships and love) always matched by the telling details of credible experience. Poems which treat of the loss of loved ones are handled with sensitivity, and her most affecting personal moments seem echoed in the translations of Baudelaire and de Nerval that further expand the reach of a book whose dominant tones are those of wonder and celebration.

“If a book is a house, then Mary Noonan’s first book of poems, The Fado House, is one inhabited by ghosts, speakers who are well acquainted with dark nights, lashing rain, and other causes of human suffering, but who return to the human realm to partake and revel in what the earth has to offer—the sensory wonders that fill Noonan’s richly textured lyrics.” — Hilary Sederis,

“Impassioned and vibrant, The Fado House is a collection that one can wholeheartedly recommend. It has depth, range, and endless resonance.” — The Poetry Shed

ISBN 9781906614577 paperback
140 x 216 mm
May 2012

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About The Author


MARY NOONAN was educated in Cork and London, and now lives in Cork. She completed a PhD in French drama at Royal Holloway, University of London, and teaches French literature at University College Cork. Her first collection of poetry – The Fado House (Dedalus Press, 2012) – was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize and the Strong/Shine Award. The manuscript of the book won the Listowel Poetry Prize. Father, a limited-edition pamphlet, was published by Bonnefant Press in 2015. Her second collection, Stone Girl, was published by Dedalus Press in February 2019. It was shortlisted for the Derek Walcott Prize in 2020. Mary Noonan’s poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including The Dark Horse, Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, PN Review, Poetry London, The Spectator, New Hibernia Review and The Threepenny Review. In 2013, she was invited to contribute to the summer school of the Sierra Nevada College MFA in Creative Writing in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. She has also taught poetry workshops to community groups in County Cork. Mary has read at numerous poetry festivals including the Cork Spring Poetry Festival, The West Cork Literature Festival, King’s Lynn Poetry Festival, StAnza Poetry Festival, Novi Sad International Poetry Festival, Spur Toronto and Versefest Ottawa. In 2015, Mary Noonan curated an international poetry and translation reading series at University College Cork, funded by an award from UCC’s Creative Practice Support Fund. Entitled This Dust of Words: Poetry And/As Translation, the series featured readings and workshops at UCC by international poets and their English-language translators. Poets featured included Jan Wagner, Jo Shapcott, Juan Carlos Mestre, Jamie McKendrick, Antonella Anedda and Valérie Rouzeau. She was the Poetry Editor of the online literary magazine Southword Journal from 2016-2018, and she was the sole judge of the 2017 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, for which she read 2200 poems from entrants worldwide. She is the recipient of bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland and The Poetry Trust UK. More information about her poetry can be found at (Author photo by Linda Ibbotson)