DUBLIN - Launch of Mentioning the War - Essays and Reviews 1999-2001 by KEVIN HIGGINS
Date: Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Venue: The Irish Writers’ Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
The book will be launched by Clare Daly T.D.
CLARE DALY is a Socialist Party & United Left Alliance TD for Dublin North. Formerly a Councillor for the Swords Local Electoral Area, Clare was first elected to Fingal County Council in 1999, and was subsequently re-elected in 2004 and 2009 decisively topping the poll each time before being elected to the Dáil in February 2011. Clare is to the forefront of the campaign against the Household Tax. In conjunction with Deputies Mick Wallace and Joan Collins she has recently brought before the Dáil the Medical Treatment (Termination Of Pregnancy In Case Of Risk To Life Of Pregnant Woman) Bill 2012 in order to provide a legislative basis for the legal termination of a pregnancy in the very limited circumstances where such treatment is deemed necessary to prevent a woman’s death, including the threat of suicide. This was the outcome of the Supreme Court judement in Attorney General v. X in 1992.
Best known for his dark, satirical poems; KEVIN HIGGINS
published his first book review in The Galway Advertiser in June 1999. Reading Mentioning the War
, it becomes obvious that Higgins is not like other critics. An enthusiastic advocate for the work of the new generation of poets who have emerged from Ireland’s thriving live poetry scene; he is also a merciless opponent of hypocrisy and pretentiousness wherever he finds it. His writing is overtly political in a way that draws comparison with George Orwell – the subject of two extended essays here. It would be impossible to agree with everything in this book; it is a book which often disagrees with itself. But on subjects as diverse as socialist poetry and neoconservatism, funding for the arts and the anti-war movement, Higgins informs, infuriates and entertains, as any good critic should.
“The importance of Higgins, in particular, in spearheading a whole new poetry reading/performance movement in Ireland over the last decade cannot be overstated…he is important not just to readers who might agree with his political or ideological critiques but also to practitioners and students of poetry itself regardless of their ideological inclinations.”
“There’s an arresting phrase, a new angle on a writer or a political position you thought you already knew about, in just about every piece here…The insights range from the literary to the existential to the seriously amusing…one of the things Mentioning the War offers, almost incidentally, is an insider’s account of how to learn to write.” John Goodby
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