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Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

ISBN: 1 903392 48 9

Page Count: 72

Publication Date: Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Cover Artwork: Anne Hartigan

About this Book

Nourishment celebrates the feasts, and mourns the fasts, of deep sexual love. Essential nourishment indeed: for this is what it is to be fully human, to rejoice in the radiant dance of one's body with another's, and to sing soul unto soul. Anne Hartigan's work has always been acutely tuned to the sacredness of the sensual. Her rhythms spring from the page, re-inventing themselves with echoes of chants and prayers and charms. These poems reinvent and rewrite the erotic before our eyes, and 'rinse and wring the ear' with their rare emotional intelligence and compassion.

Catherine Byron

In Nourishment Hartigan explores the possibilities of love, sex and desire. The age-old association of food and sexuality is inscribed with the sacred connotations of a "holy sin", a private ritual that encompasses physical and emotional healing as well as the creative possibilities of words rooted in bodily experience. Love is both constructed by the social and unquestionably ruled by the needs of the individual. Hartigan's poems accomplish the difficult task of writing about love without ever falling prey to sentimentality. At times purely physical, at times deeply in love, her voice contributes to the dismantling of old-fashioned conceptions of female sexuality. These poems are a treat for the senses and present Anne Hartigan as undoubtedly one of the most talented voices in contemporary Irish poetry.

Luz Mar Gonzalez Arias, Universidad de Oviedo, Asturias, Spain

Author Biography

Anne Le Marquand Hartigan is a prize-winning poet, playwright and painter. She trained as a painter at Reading University, England. She returned to Co Louth, Ireland, in 1962 with her husband Tim Hartigan where they farmed and reared their six children. She now lives in Dublin. To Keep The Light Burning, her sixth collection of poetry, was published by Salmon in 2008. Her other Salmon collections are Nourishment 2005, Immortal Sins 1993, award winning long poem with Anne's drawings, Now is a Moveable Feast, 1991, all published by Salmon. Return Single 1986 and Long Tongue 1982 both published by Beaver Row Press Dublin. Her prose work includes Clearing The Space, the Why of Writing, published in 1996 by Salmon Publishing.
Hartigan won the Mobil Prize for Playwriting for her play The Secret Game in 1995. In Other Worlds 2003 commissioned and performed by Ohio University, USA, then performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Otago Dunedin New Zealand. Jersey Lilies performed at the Samuel Beckett Theatre Dublin 1996, where Anne acted with Robert Gordon in this two hander. La Corbiere performed at Project Theatre in the Dublin Theatre Festival 1989,  and since then been performed in Beirut 2004 and by Solas Nua Theatre Company in Washington DC July 2006 and in venues in Ireland. Her first play Beds at the Damer Theatre was part of the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1982. La Corbiere is published in SeenandHeard six new plays by Irish Women, edited by Cathy Leeney, published 2001 by Caryfort Press, Dublin.
Anne has exhibited her paintings, batiks and installations, for which she has won awards, in Ireland and the UK, with one woman, two person and in major national group shows.

Read a sample from this book


Because I have lain on your deep Africa
Gorse light and dusty cinnamon, burnt umbers
You drank deep of my waters north and south,
Arising dripping, a dark god. Knowledge of interiors.
How simple to exchange continents, to play so easily
A classic music.

Child's play, intricate and private, allowing love space
To move in. A sacred grove, rowan, ash, laurel
To cast and shed spells. This enchantment is as natural
As the moon. This is the first touch. Shock: your unknown
Face, skin. I roam in ochres, duns, siennas, gifts
Spread before me on the white cloth. This is the necessary
Air and water, the bread my mouth waters for, it can go on.


Review by James J. McAuley, The Irish Times, Saturday 3rd September, 2005

Anne Le Marquand Hartigan begins with an invitation-poem: "Here, take this/scatter of poems before you..." Is the reader addressed? No, the ironic last line - "The full abandon" -- reassures us we're not literally included.

From the first line of the second poem, we are immersed in a sequence of dramatic love-alogues. We find ourselves, like voyeurs, reeling precipitously through so many amorous moments that the lovers must have felt wearied by the time they reach The Weather Channel, Florida, 2001, where they move "into this, still carry between them/their own personal weather."

The sequence has formal and rhetorical flaws, but avid readers won't be deterred. The poems achieve high marks for two of Milton's criteria: only a C for "simple" in the Puritan sense, but A's for "sensuous" and passionate".

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