By Grace Wells

When God Has Been Called Away…

Winner of the 2011 Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for a first collection of poems.


Grace Wells’ When God Has Been Called Away to Greater Things is a debut collection of poems at once firmly earthed in the real yet intimately connected to the mythic. In poems of lyrical beauty and imaginative reach, Wells explores the complex world of familial relationships, from childhood exploits in the company of an older sister (“I leant upon the wisdom of her age”), through the difficulties and self-doubt of failed relationships (“What’s left, when the father of your children / has throw a basket at you, hard, / upturned the kitchen table, / breaking all the china you possess?”) to the refuge of supportive love (“I see love travels faster than light”).
Strength in times of hardship is found in the example of other women, in the community of artists and writers; and, despite the loneliness with which the title poem begins (“your heart a rusted camp bed, prised open”) with the morning, and abandonment, comes nevertheless the consolation of “an imprint, which lingers” – a suggestion of the power of faith and determination, no doubt, but also of the power of poetry to reveal the world.

The book received the 2011 Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for a debut collection of poetry.

ISBN 9781906614324 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 90 pp
May 2010

Additional information

Weight .15 kg
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781906614324
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 90 pp
  • Published: : May 2010

About The Author


GRACE WELLS was born in London in 1968, lived in Co Tipperary for many years and is now based in Ennistymon, Co. Clare. Nature, spirit of place and ecological concern have been large themes in her writing ever since the publication of her debut children’s novel Gyrfalcon (O’Brien Press, 2002), which won the Eilís Dillon Best Newcomer Award and was an International White Ravens Choice. Her debut poetry collection When God has been Called Away to Greater Things (Dedalus Press, 2010), won the Rupert and Eithne Strong Best First Collection Award, and was shortlisted for the London Festival Fringe New Poetry Award. With her second poetry collection Fur (Dedalus Press, 2015), Wells moved more deeply into eco-poetics and eco-feminism. Fur was lauded in Poetry Ireland Review as ‘a book that enlarges the possibilities of poetry’, and her poem Otter was Highly Commended by the Forward Prize. She has reviewed Irish poetry for a wide range of journals, and has taught and mentored emerging writers on behalf of Poetry Ireland, Words Ireland, and for many County Council Arts Offices. In 2018 Grace Wells moved to County Clare, which has informed her new work with a coastal, marine light. Many poems for her latest book, The Church of the Love of the World (May, 2022) are accompanied by eco-poetry-films to be found on her website REVIEW EXCERPT “A poet of depth and elegance, of sparkling intuition and studied formality, Grace Wells is one of the twelve apostles at the feast of poetry. Her work will endure for its beautiful seriousness, its style, its sense of purpose” – Thomas McCarthy