by Greg Quiery - £8.00 Stairwell Books (2020)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781913432065 | ISBN 10: 1913432068
Greg Quiery’s collection of recent work is a miscellany of story-telling, observation and humour.
This collection of poetry springs primarily from Greg Quiery’s experience of life in Liverpool, where he has lived since coming to Britain in the 1970s. Much of the work takes the form of short stories or glimpses into a life. Contemporary Britain and its past are explored with realism and affection, sometimes with humour, occasionally with anger.
Having been brought up in Ireland, Greg also provides impressions, by turns nostalgic and critical, often comic, of an Ireland which has passed, but remains alive in memory. In his book In Hardship and Hope, he has documented the history of Liverpool’s Irish community. Amongst his poems here there are echoes of Britain’s colonial past as reflected in that city’s distinctive story.
Dismay at the contemporary destruction of Britain’s environment is another persistent theme, addressed both in story form and through personal observation.
"These poems are at times heartfelt, at times witty, but always true. As an Irishman in Liverpool, Greg’s poems feel like a parallel journey to my own, but from a different perspective. It is a comfort and joy to walk around these poems. Worked into strong form, they speak with urgency, style and vibrancy."
(Ciarán Hodgers, Writing on the Wall Festival, Liverpool; poet and author of Cosmocartography.)
"Greg Quiery teases pomposity, unearned authority and hypocrisy, often explored through the lens of nature, with lines so physical, the reader shares the experience. People breathe on the page as Quiery captures poetry in our daily lives, and makes us take notice. Poems build in tension: the fellah who ‘threw a wobbler’ is revealed with, ‘They tried for kids/he put the blame on her’. It would take more than a fleet of armoured cars to crush these poems. Read them and laugh; read them and weep."
(Sarah MacLennan, Head of Creative Writing, Liverpool John Moores University.)
(Price & availability last checked: November 2020)
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In booklists: Poets and Poetry: Liverpool, Merseyside and North West, World Poetry - Ireland, In categories: Poetry & Writing, Local Interest, Ireland, Scotland & Wales,