Moya Cannon


“These wonderful poems lay down not just a landscape and a history, but a music which is all their own, through which the reader can enter a unique dialogue between elegy and celebration.”
Eavan Boland


Collected Poems brings together poems from six previous collections, Oar (1990), The Parchment Boat (1997), Carrying the Songs (1907), Hands (2011), Keats Lives (2015) and Donegal Tarantella (2019), more than three decades’ work, individual poems which compose a memorable, unpredictable sequence of discovery.


Moya Cannon’s sixth collection gathers together lyric poems musing on history, on archaeology, geology and on the deep need of the human spirit to find expression in music and song.


Keats Lives is Moya Cannon’s fifth collection of poems. Characteristically rich in the moods and rhythms of the poet’s western Irish homeland, it is also drawn farther afield, towards contemplation of the disasters of previous centuries, their ‘many victories, many collars, little grace’.


In Moya Cannon’s new collection, Hands, the commonplace is transfigured by an attentiveness that jolts us into wonder.


Carrying the Songs explores what is lost to time and change, and what endures and is transformed: languages and landscapes, artefacts and songs, carried through a lifetime, across oceans, across centuries.


The poems of The Parchment Boat report the findings of her ruminations at archaeological sites, in her own garden, into custom, music, and language itself. They continue their attention to the western seaboard of Ireland and several reflect experiences of a stay in Canada.



This collection, first published by Salmon Press, Galway, won the Brendan Behan Memorial Award for the the best first collection to have been published in 1990 and was reissued by Poolbeg Press (1994) and The Gallery Press (2,000).  Her imagery reflects the hills and holy wells, the dolmens and flora of the Burren and he traffic of turf boats along the western seaboard.  They dwell also on music and, in a series of love poems, on tender places, responsive to all kinds of tides.