Monday, April 6, 2015

Banshees by Eileen P. Kennedy

Banshees by Eileen P. Kennedy is a small collection of poetry based on the themes of aging and death. 


“Like the mythological banshees of the book’s title, Eileen P. Kennedy’s poems arrive as messengers, for they are passionate, fierce, and insistent about what they’ve witnessed.  And although much of this collection carries an elegiac tone, the poet also hears “ancient laughter/between the lines.”  These contrasts comprise a universe that feels both very old and simultaneously of our present, and reflects timeless truths and experiences such as love and death and longing.”

-- Holly Wren Spaulding, Author of Pilgrim and The Grass Impossibly

Banshees is a gem of a chapbook collection.  Aptly named for the female spirits of Irish folklore who wail when a person is dying, Kennedy’s poems portend the loss of a beloved and carry us on a human journey of grief never-ending.

Kennedy’s 19 poems are in free verse with a lively use of alliteration such as ‘surface stretching from island to brown stone store,’ and ‘secrets of shrouded statues.’ She also employs repetition, and her poem ‘In Ciudad Colon’ evokes hints of the pantoum and sestina.  The short work “Muerte” is a striking haiku.  Her decisions about line breaks often create a sense of drama and breathiness, sometimes with the sense of a gasp or a cry. 

Banshees contains the essence to many stories, and we fortunate readers are grateful for the experience.”

-- Terry S. Johnson, author of Coalescence

“Amherst author Eileen Kennedy has written widely over the years…and had a special love for poetry, publishing in many journals.  Her newest book, ‘Banshees,’ features 19 of her poems, many of which explore the process of aging and death.  The title poem is …an ode to a love lost, with the narrator musing about shared memories and dashed hopes before concluding “Never mind,/I am maudlin,/keening our passing/ with the light of night shadows on the wall./ Winds wail at bloodstained/amor and amour/ signaling love’s/primal anguish.”             

-- Steve Pfarrer, Hampshire Life Magazine

About the Author:

Eileen P. Kennedy has been writing since she was eight years old.  Her publications include nonfiction, fiction, children’s stories, poetry, and an academic book. Her poetry has appeared in more than 25 national and international journals, on-line publications and magazines.

She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree from Brooklyn College and a doctorate from Fordham University. Her current faculty position is at the City University of New York/Kingsborough. She has been awarded residencies at the Hambridge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, and multiple times at the Julia and David White Artists’ Colony.
She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. 
More about her and her publications at

24 pages, 19 poems 

Purchase Banshees

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