En route he takes in the wonders and absurdities of contemporary life in his 'one island, two countries'. Here are poems in which the Troubles begin to raise their head, in which the orb of the Child of Prague might be mistaken for a hand-grenade. Here too are poems from the other end of that conflict, from an Ireland struggling to come to terms with the near collapse of its economy.
“[S]o long as the poems are as snazzy, and sharply focused, and ingeniously rhymed as Iggy McGovern’s one-pagers in The King of Suburbia, we can’t complain... he’s a master of the ironic, the pun, the innuendo, and such feats of word-play as will keep a smile on any visage but that of the incorrigible cynic. We could do with a whole lot more of this kind of well-turned verse and sharply-observed ironies.”
James J McAuley, The Irish Times
Iggy McGovern was born in Coleraine and resides in Dublin where he is Associate Professor of Physics at Trinity College. His poetry has been widely published in anthologies and journals in Ireland and abroad, as well as in the popular ‘Poetry in Motion’ series on trains in the Dublin suburban rail system (DART). Well-known for his witty, playful, but emotionally engaged poems, McGovern is the recipient of the McCrae Literary Award and the Hennessy Literary Award for poetry. His first collection, The King of Suburbia (Dedalus, 2005), won the inaugural Glen Dimplex New Writer Award for Poetry in 2006, and his poem ‘The Irish Poem Is’ was shortlisted for the 2008 Strokestown Poetry Prize.