Gerard Smyth has achieved a hard-won grace and fluency over many years and now writes with controlled passion and lyrical intensity, the result of a dedication to the truth of poetry that has involved a steady pilgrimage. If the work began with a dismal view of human living, imaged through inner city Dublin, it is the spare language and affectionate, though unsparing, knowledge of contemporary life, combined with unobstrusive faith in human possibility, that give the later poems a relevance, a music and a depth unique to the poetry of our time. The Mirror Tent offers poems that are mature and accomplished, their surface beauty offering, to a more concentrated reading, a depth and unselfconscious wisdom for which we must truly grateful.
- John F. Deane
Gerard Smyth is inescapably a poet of the inward city. His city is one in which every day comes as news: a city of endless stories, of streets and neighbourhoods rich with associations, and a city of early memories. He gives us a city of found objects and found connections…
– O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award citation
The Yellow River
Gerard Smyth & Sean McSweeney
Opens September 8th, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork
The exhibition The Yellow River (poems by Gerard Smyth and paintings by Seán McSweeney ) opens in Triskel Arts Centre in Cork on September 8th. In this collaborative project poet and artist explore their personal links to the landscape of County Meath where Smyth spent many summers during his childhood and adolescence, close to where Sean McSweeney’s also spent his first years. Over two years – 2015 and 2016 – Smyth revisited particular sites of occurrence in his and the county’s history as part of the development of this new suite of poems. McSweeney responded in a series of watercolours, drawings and other works as well as creating new work from his own trips to his original home place in the county. The book and exhibition, The Yellow River, were first launched in the Solstice Arts Centre, Navan which commissioned the work) on January 28th.
Gerard Smyth reads from The Yellow River at the Fierce Moon Festival (Glen Arts Centre, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim) at lunchtime on September 16th and the Bailieborough Poetry Festival, Co Cavan, on Saturday, October 7th.