Where, the Mile End (Book*hug & tall-lighthouse, 2019), Irish poet Julie Morrissy’s debut collection, embodies an energetic lyricism that whips through Europe and North America with humour, curiosity and distinct edginess. A subtle vulnerability lurks as Morrissy engages themes of transition and development, tracking patterns of emotional, physical, and geographical change. The poet builds an intimate world, linking the vitality of two continents, and tightly holding the reader to the snow, the streets, and the sensual memories embroidered throughout this collection. Where, the Mile End reimagines the places we inhabit, the moments we remember, and the things we long for.
Praise for Where, the Mile End
“Beyond the familiar literary positions of Irish and diasporic Irish writing, Julie Morrissy constructs a personal poetics of trans-cultural experience, where not only place, but time and tense may layer and merge in unexpected ways. Set against the deceptive exteriors of the global urban habitat, her poems record the acute sensitivity of the human body moving through the world. Where, the Mile End is a striking first collection that inspires one to travel in its pages again and again.” —Colette Bryce, award-winning author The Whole and Rain-Domed Universe
“Julie Morrissy jauntily lead us down unfamiliar streets, where we often become merrily lost. Brief interludes whip the book forward, as Montréal, San Francisco, and Dublin keep bursting through. Even ‘that little triangle of muscle in your ear’ will attend every poem.”—Terese Svoboda, award-winning author of Weapons Grade
“Humming with energy and startlingly fresh, these poems crack through the surface of weather and geography and illuminate all that is revealed. Morrissy’s deftly paced, musical use of language draws us into her closely observed world where we accompany her with fascination from place to place to place.”—Jane Urquhart, award-winning author of The Night Stages
”If Morrissy has a clear sense of ‘where I’m from’, in relation to other kinds of poetry, the most surprising and enjoyable aspect of her work is the deliberateness with which she stakes out a poetics of her own, with a mobile intelligence and wit which is not just a reaction to other voices.”—John McAuliffe, Review for Irish Times
“Slightly more avant-garde but always really engaging, witty, wry work. I don’t think anybody else is writing like Julie [Morrissy] at the moment.”—Jessica Traynor, “Chapter & Verse: The Rise of Irish Female Poets”, The Gloss Magazine
Where, the Mile End launched in Dublin, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Boston and Miami in February/March 2019.
European readers can order here from tall-lighthouse. North American readers can order from Book*hug.
PAMPHLETS & CHAPBOOKS
Transcription Factor is a limited edition pamphlet published by NO Press (Canada, 2019). The four poems were written by Gregory Betts, Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi, Christodoulos Makris, and Julie Morrissy in ekphrastic response to Barry O’Halpin’s original musical composition “Hox” for the Text/Sound/Performance conference at University College Dublin in April 2019. The body of a wasp has four main sections: the head, the mesosoma, the metasoma, and the petiole that joins them all together. Building from the idea of the Hox, the subset of genes that determine the arrangement of these body parts, each poem underwent a similar editorial process but in a different order. The poets’ individual voices became both nature and nurture as Betts, Enyi-Amadi, Makris and Morrissy worked with poems they were given, and gave forth, from and to each other. There are sixteen poems in the entire collaboration, stemming from four original poems, one by each poet, then edited in turn by all. Transcription Factor is the final evolution of the texts. The original sixteen poems will be printed with O’Halpin’s forthcoming C.D., Hox.
I Am Where is a powerful selection of poems containing many-layered stories that transcend the Atlantic with an outstanding realism, countered by an acute emotional balance. The poems quietly absorb the reader and, once held, refuse to let them go, remaining long in the memory. This pamphlet introduces a major new Irish poet.
Praise for I Am Where
"Rathmines is a lost country/in the archipelago between the good times and the bad, and so it is for this Irish poet who freely interchanges time and space, at ease with impermanence, notating herself in the act of living, making of her non-attachments a challenge to the idea of importance, a collapsing of the categories, a new kind of happiness.
—Harry Clifton, Ireland Professor of Poetry (2011-2014)
"I Am Where is a pamphlet that experiments with the ties between place and identity...There is a feeling of lightness to many of these poems, as they could take off and travel by themselves, as if they're somewhat unrooted...the poems are always musically resonant and well-paced, and never not-surprising."
—Suzannah Evans, review in The North Magazine
"The precision of Julie Morrissy’s writing sets her work apart from many other debut pamphlets. This compulsion for accuracy comes through in poems like ‘Canada Life,’ reminiscent of Elizabeth Bishop who often qualified her statements to get to the core of honest expression..."
—James O'Leary, review in Sabotage Reviews
"The intersection of geographic location and lyric subjectivity in I Am Where is wonderful, and the directly moving language a welcome treat. Morrissy's poise and balance at the edge of self insist on an alert presence to words, and to the world. I couldn't put it down."
—Dale Smith, Poet & Editor
"Morrissy's deft sleight of hand can transport you, seamlessly, between continents, and between familiar cityscapes, reminding us of the energy and permanence that abide over us, no matter where we are. I Am Where calls us to ask what borders are, and what happens to us when we journey across them."
—Grace Wilentz, review in Poetry Ireland's Trumpet