Opening and closing with poems that describe what he calls a river’s ‘breath’, Mark Roper’s new collection develops his reputation as one of the most admired nature poets of his generation, and acts as a deeply personal record of the loss of his elderly mother.
Roper’s clarity of detail and simple, nuanced diction are brought to bear throughout, and the twin presences of death and life, like all great opposites, become so close to each other as to be inseparable. A Gather of Shadow is a kind of haunting – not by something that is far away or remote, but by knowledge so close it defines who we are.
“One of the most accomplished and engaging poets writing in Ireland.”
Irish Literary Supplement
Mark Roper was born in Derbyshire in 1951, moving to County Kilkenny in 1980. A former editor of Poetry Ireland, he currently works in adult education in Waterford and Kilkenny. His poetry collections include The Hen Ark (1999), which won the 1992 Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection, Catching The Light (1997), The Home Fire (1998) and Whereabouts (2005). Even So: New & Selected Poems was published by Dedalus in 2008; ‘Hummingbird’ was a Poem of the Week in the Guardian. His collaboration with photographer Paddy Dwan, The River Book: A Celebration of the Suir, was one of the Irish Times’ Books of the Year for 2010.