"Irish poetry would be unrecognisable without Kennelly’s vital contribution."
Paul Perry, The Irish Times
Over the past five decades Brendan Kennelly has written thousands of poems published in over 30 books, including three previous editions of Selected Poems.
Published on his 75th birthday, this new selection presents just over a hundred of Kennelly’s most essential poems, accompanied by an audio CD of his own readings, drawn from two classic recordings made in Dublin in 1982 and 1999.
The Essential Brendan Kennelly has been edited by two lifelong admirers of his work, Terence Brown and Michael Longley.
"Kennelly's voice is like the dawn birds that 'celebrate the light'."
Rachel Redford, The Observer
"Ever the keen observer of human foibles, he is something of a connoisseur of the traits that make up the Irish character… and has used that understanding wisely, wittily and often with a sense of fun, in his poems."
The Irish Times
"… some constants remain throughout – notably a rage against injustice and brutality, a tender concern for those made to suffer, a wry acknowledgment of human failings and foibles and an often bawdy celebration of lives exuberantly lived.”
The Irish Independent
“He is the people’s poet. He spends his life wondering and thinking and daring to think and see differently.”
Jim Farrelly, Editor-in-Chief, The Sunday Tribune
Brendan Kennelly was born in 1936 in Ballylongford, Co. Kerry. He was Professor of Modern Literature at Trinity College, Dublin for over 30 years. He has published over 30 poetry and drama titles, including Cromwell, Familiar Strangers: New & Selected Poems 1960-2004, Glimpses, The Man Made of Rain, Martial Art, Now, Poetry My Arse, Reservoir Voices, When Then Is Now and The Book of Judas (which topped the Irish bestsellers list). All these are available separately from Bloodaxe, the latter shortened to The Little Book of Judas (2002).