POET AND CITY

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




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