By Aidan Murphy

Wrong Side of Town

Cork-born Aidan Murphy’s sixth collection of poems explores the darker side of contemporary Irish life with wit and a clear eye.


Wrong Side of Town, Aidan Murphy’s sixth collection of poems begins “Nearby the graveyard gate / under the streetlight at dusk” (‘Mr Sardonicus’) before visiting a demolished ballroom, a seedy nightclub and a ‘garish karaoke lounge’ on its journey through the darker side of contemporary Irish life.

Yet while his poems may have a Noirish atmosphere, the places and subjects that provoke them are wholly real and realised, and much of the power of Murphy’s writing comes from his refusal to indulge himself as he explores his trademark subjects of heartbreak, loneliness and loss. Throughout, Murphy’s pared-back, searingly honest poems are leavened by considerable wit and verbal skill, making him, in the words of one critic, “an aesthetic outsider on this side of the Atlantic”, and a presence contemporary Irish poetry should be thankful for.
ISBN 9781910251096 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 80 pp
April 2015

Additional information

Weight .15 kg
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781910251096
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 80 pp
  • Published: : April 2015

About The Author


Aidan Murphy is a Cork-born poet long since resident in Dublin. His collections include The Restless Factor (1985), The Way the Money Goes (1987) – a Poetry Book Society recommendation – Small Sky, Big Change (1989), Stark Naked Blues (1997), Looking in at Eden and, his first publication from Dedalus Press, Wrong Side of Town (2015). Neon Baby: New and Selected Poems was published by New Island in 2007. On Aidan Murphy: "There is a muscular male minimalism to Murphy’s language, more influenced by the demotic of American verse than by the poetic speech of the European Western Archipelago (known in Britain as the British Isles). It is a male speech which avoids the asserted invulnerability of machismo. If anything, the male protagonists in Murphy’s narratives and monologues are only too aware of their own fragility. There is a bravery at work here too, too well-informed to be mistaken for foolhardiness. Murphy’s protagonists realise that life is threatening to break them, but they always manage to summon the last of their spiritual resources to avoid being broken." — Patrick Cotter, Poetry International