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In a series of timeless and modern-day renditions, Maurice Riordan brilliantly introduces us to the poems that founded Ireland's rich literature. Memorable and accessible, these early lyrics are presented in their classic incarnations by literary giants from both sides of the Irish Sea: in examples by W. H. Auden, Flann O'Brien, Alfred Lord Tennyson, John Montague, Robert Graves and Frank O'Connor. But the anthology is much more than a survey of canonical texts; through a series of specially commissioned poems, fresh eyes are brought to bear on these ancient poems: by Seamus Heaney and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, by Paul Muldoon and Kathleen Jamie, by Ciaran Carson and Christopher Reid, and many others. The experience is enhanced still further by the enabling hand of Riordan himself, in a sweep of exquisite translations of his own made especially for this publication.
Maurice Riordan was born in 1953 in Lisgoold, Co. Cork. His first collection, A Word from the Loki (1995) was nominated for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Floods (2000) was a Book of the Year in both the Sunday Times and Irish Times. The Holy Land(2007) won the Michael Hartnett Award. He has taught at Imperial College and Goldsmiths College, and is currently Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University. In 2013 Riordan was appointed Editor of Poetry Review. He lives in South London.