Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Poul na Brone: In the Hollow of the Millstone by Sheryl Clough


Both contemporary and historical Ireland come to life through Sheryl Clough’s masterful linguistic abilities.  Like Yeats, who inhabits some of this collection, these poems are born of music and beg to be read aloud. Lyrical marries imagistic in social commentary rich in culture from the homeless, the pub, symbols, wars, famous writers and storied citizens to the haunting beauty of art and landscapes “unchanged through time’s folded embrace.”  Maith Thú!  Brava! 

-- Ellaraine Lockie, award-winning poet, nonfiction author, educator, Lilipoh Poetry Editor

In these rich and complex poems, Sheryl Clough contemplates the interplay of the human and the natural, the litter of the quotidian beside the timeless landmarks of an ancient countryside. Her imagination is captured equally by the hunger of an ancestor who fled the Great Famine and the mordant wit of an Irish barman. Clough's exploration of caverns and cliffs, churchyards, inns, and villages is sometimes melancholy, sometimes uproarious: in her deft, articulate lines, we encounter a people capable of bestowing bawdy nicknames on poets and patriots even as they mourn.  Clough has the range to engage consistently with both the humor and the near-classical sense of tragedy. Poul na Brone is a delight of a book.

-- Carol Alexander, author of Habitat Lost


Sheryl Clough has worked as a teacher, editor, whitewater river guide, paralegal, and egg packer in an Alaskan salmon cannery.  She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she designed and taught UAF’s first writing course linked to environmental literature.  Her work has appeared in Storyboard, Sierra, Travelers Tales, Soundings Review, Bacopa, Third Wednesday, and others.

In 2009, Sheryl founded Write Wing Publishing, a small press that has produced the poetry anthologies Surrounded: Living With Islands and Through a Distant Lens:  Travel Poems.

Honors include the Donn Goodwin Prize from Milwaukee Irish Fest, a creative nonfiction prize from Jane’s Stories Press Foundation and the William Stafford Award from the Washington Poets Association.  In February 2013, Sheryl gave a featured reading at the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival, which awarded first prize to her chapbook Ring of Fire, Sea of Stone.  

38 pages, 20 poems

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