Subcritical Tests (Gorse Editions, May 2017), is a book-length poetic text written in collaboration with S.J. Fowler. Over the space of a year, it contemplates the banal fact of the continued existence of the atomic bomb.
The poems in Subcritical Tests stubbornly make connections, ever conscious of the impending threat of annihilation. Oblique, modern, lyrical, humorous, these poems represent the range of Ailbhe Darcy and SJ Fowler‘s individual practices, modulated and melded through the collaborative process.
Longlisted for a Saboteur Award.
Order from Gorse Editions.
My essay about collaborative writing, motherhood and the atom bomb for The Critical Flame is here.
John McAuliffe in The Irish Times: “Images of nuclear bombs and fall-out recur and, every so often, in among the cross-talk and non sequiturs, pellucid lines or vivid passages emerge whose clarity feels both hard-won and relieving. “It is wrong” they write in Snooperscope,” to think of the day as busy, / or the army as impotent because of cakes / and waltzes. Do not be fooled, you cannot list / your way out of a fight, even with these beautiful men.” This is a strangely compelling book whose productive tensions are well described in Trumpet: “But no winter could be arrived at that / both parties would agree on; / the nations of you writing and I writing.””