By Leland Bardwell

The Noise of Masonry Settling

Poems by one of the senior and most distinctive voices in Irish writing.


This first collection of new poems in more than a decade by one of the senior and most admired figures in Irish writing contains both the wit and the fire, the apparent whimsy and the underlying deadly seriousness of a writer who has always refused the fashions of the time.

“…poems of Brechtian bite… of editorial impulse… and of more durable, stripped-down mystery… Indeed, Bardwell resists sentimental inceptions in even the gentler of these poems, as in ‘The Violets of the Poor’. Because Bardwell’s allusions and imagery insistently site her poems in discomfiting Irish realities, the more confessional of her poems properly end and begin in the mode of Blake… Recalling the startling outsider verse of Bardwell’s contemporary, Patrick Galvin, such lines remind us that Bardwell remains an outsider at home in Yeats’s Sligo – unnaturalised in EU Ireland.” — Thomas Dillon Redshaw, The Irish Times

“Honest and sparkling, Leland Bardwell’s poetry comes alive on the page with an enviable lightness of touch, and in the same stroke delivers a punch…” — Writing Notes

“…beautiful direct descriptions of the varied landscape of her home place…” — Sligo Champion

ISBN 9781904556442
74 pp, 140 x 216 mm

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About The Author


Leland Bardwell was born in India, grew up in Leixlip and was educated in Dublin with extra mural studies in London University. She has published five novels, most recently Mother to a Stranger which was a bestseller in translation in Germany, while her early novel The House was recently issued in their classic series by Blackstaff Press. Numerous radio plays and stories have been broadcast on RTÉ radio and her stage plays include The Life of Edith Piaf. Her most recent poetry collection is The Noise of Masonry Settling (Dedalus, 2006). Her memoir, A Restless Life, appeared in 2008 from Liberties Press. The recipient of the Marten Toonder Award in 1993, and the Dede Korkut Short Story Award from Turkish PEN in 2010, she was one of the four co-editors of the long-running literary magazine, Cyphers, and a co-founder of the Scríobh literary festival in Sligo where she lived for many years. A member of Aosdána, Leland Bardwell died in June 2016, aged 94. REVIEW EXCERPTS "She is the doyenne of women poets writing in English. Her work has humour and wit... It has the immediacy of personal conversation, yet is crafted with care for form. She makes something extraordinary of 'ordinary' experience". — Irish Press "Leland Bardwell's poetry is witty, full of sharp, intimate honesty, full of truth and surprises. She is a poet who has felt the shocks of our time, the private impacts and the historic changes" — Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin