Following his acclaimed prose memoir The Invisible Prison, Pat Boran’s first full-length collection of poems in over a decade sees him explore questions of love, belonging and connection, recognising that small and great challenges alike may be entry points to new beginnings, and that the instinct to sing and praise has never been more relevant or crucial. Despite echoing the promise of religious belief, The Next Life of the title is entirely to be found in the here-and-now and the near-to-hand, in the play of sparrows on a lawn, the death-exploring game of his two small children (‘Let’s Die’), and in the trust and faith of lovers whispering together “words never uttered before”.
‘Boran surveys death, childhood, and the plentiful literary resources of his own backyard in his latest collection of poems. His language is simple and apt, easing the reader into vivid images of his Irish setting and outlining the roles of father and child with charming wit. Boran treats subjects as grave as mortality and faith with calm, musical elegance.’
— World Literature Today
“Lucid, limpid – Pat Boran bears comparison with Tranströmer in that he too often makes a whole out of a pair of alien concepts. Except the pupil, if he is such, here exceeds the master, grabbing a notion and our hand and taking us running with it… At times his poems, Girl Gardening for instance, verge on the simply beautiful, become — a description rarely applied to poetry itself — sheer poetry.”
— Sam Smith, The Journal (UK)
ISBN 978 1 906614 553 Paperback
216 x 140 mm, 102 pp