By Pat Boran

Then Again

Through a variety of meditations on found and treasured objects, Pat Boran’s seventh collection of poems, Then Again, invites the reader to look, and look again, at our common inheritance and to step even briefly out of the perspective of our own time and immediate experience.


All Poetry, Poetry from Ireland


From treasures in museums to paintings in galleries and churches, from first impressions of the unfamiliar to fresh takes on the well-known and -loved, the triggers behind the poems in Pat Boran’s seventh collection, Then Again, in the main depart from the poet’s trademark starting point of autobiography.

Instead in Then Again his focus is very much outwards, with the poems comprising a mini Odyssey that takes in parts of Ireland, Paris, Sicily, Cyprus and elsewhere, finding along the way the echoes of earlier discoveries and deeper concerns.

The book’s title acknowledges both the unexpected returns and the subsequent re-evaluations that memory occasions as it makes new connections between present and past, between our personal journeys and our shared fate.

These are splendid poems, comprehensive and wide-ranging in their subjects and themes, profound in their feeling, making for one of the finest collections to appear in recent times. — RTÉ Culture

“A writer of great tenderness and lyricism …” – Agenda (UK)

“Local and international, personal and scientific, full of wisdom and wry humour …” – Irish Literary Supplement (USA)


Like two startled meerkats
sensing a predator’s approach –
the return of the king
from some battle, the arrival
of his wayward, ‘inquisitive’ son –
hoping not to be chosen
these two female servants
take a deep breath
then stand so utterly still
that not only the moment
but the greater part of recorded history
passes them by,
all the ugly intentions of the world
muttering to themselves as they vanish
back into the night.

(Female Figurines, circa 1200 BC. Leventis Municipal Museum
of Nicosia, Cyprus)


ISBN 9781910251430 PB
ISBN 978910251447 HB
140 x 216 mm / 5.5” x 8.5”
90 pp approx
20 March 2019

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About The Author


PAT BORAN is an Irish poet, editor and film maker. He was born in 1963 in Portlaoise, in the Irish midlands, and has long since lived in Dublin. One of the best known Irish poets of his generation, he was Writer-in-Residence with Dublin City Libraries, Dublin City University and the Western Education and Library Board in Fermanagh. He is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry and prose, most recently Then Again (Dedalus Press, 2019) and Waveforms: Bull Island Haiku (Orange Crate Books, 2016) with photographs by the author. The Statues of Emo Court (2021), Building the Ark (2022) and On a wave of Light (2022) are single-poem volumes, with photographs by the author. A Man Is Only As Good: A Pocket Selected Poems was published in 2017 by Orange Crate Books. Editions of his poetry have been published in Italian, Hungarian, Macedonian and Portuguese, with further works in progress. Pat Boran's non-fiction includes the popular writers' handbook The Portable Creative Writing Workshop (various editions) and A Short History of Dublin (Mercier Press). His humorous memoir The Invisible Prison: Scenes from an Irish Childhood, was published by Dedalus Press in 2009 and published in Italian as Un'Infanzia Irlandese in 2019 by Edizioni Kolibris. A former editor of Poetry Ireland Review and a former presenter of The Poetry Programme and The Enchanted Way on RTÉ Radio 1, Pat Boran has edited numerous anthologies of Irish poetry, among them Wingspan: A Dedalus Sampler (2006), Flowing, Still: Irish Poets on Irish Poetry (2009), The Bee-Loud Glade (2009), Shine On: Irish writers supporting those affected by mental ill health (2011), the 2014 Dublin One City, One Book choice If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (with co-editor Gerard Smyth) and, with co-editor Eugene O'Connell, The Deep Heart's Core: Irish Poets Revisit a Touchstone Poem (2017). During lockdown in Spring 2020 he edited the popular anthology, The Word Ark: A Pocket Book of Animal Poems, illustrated by Sicilian artist Gaetano Tranchino. Since 2020 he has made more than a dozen short poetry films which have shown at film and literary festivals all over the world. Pat Boran’s distinctions include The Patrick Kavanagh Award and the US-based Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award. He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish affiliation of creative artists. (See also