Perhaps The Heart Is Constant After All
Page Count: 92
Publication Date: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
About this Book
‘Clear eyed and heart-breaking’ Nuala Ní Dhomnaill
Both for her ground-breaking and seductive love poetry and her unflinching testimony to the travails of aging and death, Mary Dorcey has been acclaimed as a poet of remarkable insight and courageous witness.
Noted for a rare lyricism and clarity of style she has won an international audience for poetry that explores complex truths often silenced in public discourse. Her subjects are the enduring questions of humanity: love and loss, sexual passion, separation, aging and death.
‘If the heart is faithful in the least/ is it to the elemental, the universal theme? / Is it only in particulars that love betrays – the setting and the costumes.../ the language and the streets?'
Original and catalytic, for twenty-five years, she has written from the border lines of human experience, speaking for the voiceless, informing and transforming the mainstream of Irish literature.
Passionate, profoundly poignant, in a damaged but radiant world, she seeks always images of redemption. ‘But how easily your soul escaped your body/ the instant your heart stopped, astonished by grace/ a young girl stepped out...’
‘Her poetry commands an unsparing and musical perspective on love between women but also on the question of authority; on woman’s identity within a society and how it shadows and inflects the very idea of poetry.’ Eavan Boland
The award winning poet, short story writer and novelist, Mary Dorcey was born in County Dublin, Ireland. In 1990 she won the Rooney Prize for Literature for her short story collection: A Noise from the Woodshed. Her bestselling novel Biography of Desire (Poolbeg) was published in 1997 to critical acclaim and has been reprinted three times. She has published four previous volumes of poetry: Kindling (Only Women Press, 1982), Moving into the Space Cleared by Our Mothers (Salmon Poetry, 1991), The River That Carries Me (Salmon Poetry, 1995), and Like Joy In Season, Like Sorrow (Salmon, 2001). In 1990 she published a novella, Scarlet O’Hara (1990) contained in the anthology In and Out of Time (Onlywomen Press). Five of her eights book have been awarded major Literature Bursaries by the Irish Arts Council, in 1990 and 1995 and 1999, 2005 and most recently, in 2008.
Her work is now taught on Irish Studies and English Literature courses in universities in Britain, Europe, the United States and Canada. It is discussed and cited in innumerable academic studies. Several theses have been published on her work and countless critical essays. Her poetry is taught on both the Irish Junior Certificate English course and on the British O-Level English curriculum.
Her stories and poetry have been widely anthologised since 1984 and are now included in more than one hundred collections, most notably: The Field Day Anthology, The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction, Ed. Colm Toibin, The Picador Book of Irish Short Stories, The Faber Book of Best Irish Short Stories 2007, The Virago Book of Short Stories by Women, The Bloomsbury Book of Women’s Poetry, and The Cambridge Book of Poetry by Women.
Her short story “A Country Dance” was dramatized for the BBC. Her poetry has been performed on radio and television (RTE and Channel 4) and has also been dramatized for stage productions in Ireland, Britain and Australia in In the Pink (The Raving Beauties) and Sunny Side Plucked. For twenty years she has been a keynote speaker and given readings from her work at arts festivals and conferences throughout Ireland, Britain, Europe, Canada and the United States. She has lived in the United States, England, France, Spain and Japan.
She is at present a Research Associate at Trinity College Dublin. She was writer in residence at Trinity College for the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies for ten years where she gives seminars in contemporary English literature and taught a creative writing course. She also taught for four years at University College Dublin.
She has recently completed a new novel Fate. She now lives in County Wicklow.
She is a member of Aosdana.