Limerick poet John Liddy’s eleventh poetry collection Arias of Consolation is his most ambitious yet, focusing entirely on the familiar Liddy territory of Limerick.
The book is published by Revival Press, an imprint of The Limerick Writers’ Centre, under their Community Publishing initiative and will be launched by Professor Eoin Devereux of the University of Limerick on Sept 5th in the Limerick City Gallery of Art, Pery Square at 2.30pm. Current Covid regulations recommend a limit of 10 will be allowed to attend but the organisers are hopeful that this number can be increased for the September launch.
‘Across eight movements, Arias of Consolation is an epic poem. Beautifully embellished with work by the renowned artist John Shinnors, it is, arguably, the most important poem written about Limerick since the publication of Bard Hogan’s ‘Drunken Thady and The Bishop’s Lady’ in 1861’, argues Professor Eoin Devereux in the Foreword to this unique and powerful piece of writing.
Limerick City – and to a somewhat lesser degree, the county – is the star of this poem. It is laden with references to people (Paddy Sausage, Patsy Stark, Frances Coleman) and places (Joe Malones, The Tholsel, Casey’s Fish Shop), but Liddy does not gaze at the city and county through a nostalgic lens. Arias of Consolation evidences Liddy’s thorough ‘warts and all’ knowledge of Limerick. While echoes of the past ripple through the poem, Liddy is as comfortable writing about 21st century Limerick as he is thoroughly knowledgeable about its long and complicated past.
John Liddy’s Arias are a reservoir of consolation.