Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Galway Launch of Mentioning the War

The Galway Launch of Mentioning the War - essays and reviews (1999 -2011)
by Kevin Higgins

published by Salmon Publishing

The book will be launched by Darrell Kavanagh
@ Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, Galway
on Saturday, April 7th


Best known for his dark, satirical poems; Kevin Higgins published his first book review in The Galway Advertiser in June 1999. Reading Mentioning the War, it becomes obvious that Higgins is not like other critics. An enthusiastic advocate for the work of the new generation of poets who have emerged from Ireland’s thriving live poetry scene; he is also a merciless opponent of hypocrisy and pretentiousness wherever he finds it. His writing is overtly political in a way that draws comparison with George Orwell – the subject of two extended essays here. It would be impossible to agree with everything in this book; it is a book which often disagrees with itself. But on subjects as diverse as socialist poetry and neoconservatism, funding for the arts and the anti-war movement, Higgins informs, infuriates and entertains, as any good critic should.

“The importance of Higgins, in particular, in spearheading a whole new poetry reading/performance movement in Ireland over the last decade cannot be overstated…he is important not just to readers who might agree with his political or ideological critiques but also to practitioners and students of poetry itself regardless of their ideological inclinations.” Philip Coleman

“There’s an arresting phrase, a new angle on a writer or a political position you thought you already knew about, in just about every piece here…The insights range from the literary to the existential to the seriously amusing…one of the things Mentioning the War offers, almost incidentally, is an insider’s account of how to learn to write.” John Goodby

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