PLEASE NOTE: From 1st of July 2021, shipments from the UK to EU countries will be subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) charges. Orders placed through this website are shipped Delivery Duties Unpaid (DDU) and customers in the EU may have to pay import VAT (and customs duties, if payable) and a handling fee in the receiving country.

Where Sadness Begins

Where Sadness Begins

Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price

The poems in this collection range from the boglands of MacKenna’s native Kildare to Northamptonshire, home of one of his poetry heroes, John Clare. Like his short stories and novels, they explore the lives of people on the periphery, interspersed with a deeply personal response to the death of his only brother in 2005, and a strikingly honest depiction of his relationships with his parents and children.

“A consummately skilled author.”
Antonia Logue, The Guardian

Mostly, we muddle through,
putting the whole thing down to tiredness,
overwork, a lack of sleep.
Until someone else’s sadness overcomes them
and we have a momentary recognition
of the empty place inside each heart.

John MacKenna is the author of seventeen books – short-stories, novels, memoir, history and biography. He is a winner of the Irish Times Fiction Award, the C Day-Lewis Award and the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award. His most recent novel, The Space Between Us (2009), was shortlisted for the Kerry Book of the Year Award. His prose has been critically acclaimed in the Sunday Times, the Irish Times, Scotland on Sunday, and even in Jeffrey Archer’s prison diaries. He is also a winner of a Jacob’s Radio Award for his documentary work with the poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen. He teaches at NUI, Maynooth in County Kildare.