The Mining Road, Leanne O’Sullivan’s third poetry collection, finds inspiration in the disused copper mines that haunt the rugged terrain around Allihies, near her home at Beara, in West Cork. Like remnants of a lost world, the mines’ ruined towers, shafts, man-engines and dressing floors, evoke an elemental landscape in which men and women laboured above as well as underground, and even mined in caverns below sea level. Mining promotes a sense of memory, and the riches embedded in the landscape are human as well as material. But things brought to the surface can have a startling ability to shine in the present, and O’Sullivan’s poems move and provoke as they resonate with experiences at the heart of contemporary Ireland.
'These new poems are linguistically abundant. They are full of bold similes and metaphors. Both sensuous and religious, her art is at its most impressive in some remarkable love poems. Love poetry so celebratory and erotic is rare in these cool, cynical times. I admire Leanne O’Sullivan’s technical enterprise and unembarrassed imagination' – Michael Longley, on Leanne O'Sullivan's Cailleach: The Hag of Beara, and why she was awarded the 2009 Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary.
'O’Sullivan’s imagery is always precise, yet utterly dazzling in its originality... she is reclaiming her landscape, as all poets must, and she does so with the steadiness and gravity of a writer who has already found her way home' — Nessa O'Mahony, Irish Times
'What is remarkable about Leanne O’Sullivan is not that she is so young…but that she dares to write about exactly what it is to be young. A teenage Virgil, she guides us down some of the more hellish corridors of adolescence with a voice that is strong and true' — Billy Collins on Waiting for My Clothes.
Leanne O'Sullivan was born in 1983, and comes from the Beara peninsula in West Cork. She received an MA in English from University College, Cork in 2006. The winner of several of Ireland's poetry competitions in her early 20s (including the Seacat, Davoren Hanna and RTE Rattlebag Poetry Slam), she has published three collections, all from Bloodaxe, Waiting for My Clothes (2004), Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009), winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2010, and The Mining Road (2013). She was given the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award in 2009 and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry in 2011, and received a UCC Alumni Award in 2012.