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Iron Mountain Road / Eamonn Wall

Iron Mountain Road

By: Eamonn Wall

€8.88
Iron Mountain Road is Eamonn Wall's second collection of poetry, following Dyckman -- 200 Street (Salmon, 1994), Wall's widely praised first book. Here is a collection which chronicles the process of migration - from the bustle, high buildings, and close living of New York City to the empty wide open spaces, and often desolate but magnificent American prairie and high plains.  This is an innovative book which describes ...
ISBN 978-1-903392-80-5
Pub Date Wednesday, January 01, 1997
Cover Image Brenda Dermody (design)
Page Count 96
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Iron Mountain Road is Eamonn Wall's second collection of poetry, following Dyckman -- 200 Street (Salmon, 1994), Wall's widely praised first book. Here is a collection which chronicles the process of migration - from the bustle, high buildings, and close living of New York City to the empty wide open spaces, and often desolate but magnificent American prairie and high plains.  This is an innovative book which describes aspects of the Irish immigrant experience which has been hitherto ignored.  The Platte River in Nebraska and the Black Hills of South Dakota are brought brilliantly to life by a consciousness formed in County Wexford and New York, and it is often to these starting points that Wall turns to for confirmation.  Other important concerns are history, parenthood and the sea.

Features of Iron Mountain Road are the long lines and prose poems which are employed to great effect to describe the enormous space the poet encounters, and which also facilitate Wall's desire to write a poetry laden with the deep rhythms of ordinary life.  Iron Mountain Road is a moving and brilliant collection which confirms Eamonn Wall as a daring and original poet and as spokesman for frequently marginalized, but never silent exiles.  Wall gives eloquent voice to a lost generation - the exiles of the 1980s and 1990s.

Eamonn Wall

Eamonn Wall is a native of Co. Wexford who has lived in the USA since 1982. In addition to his six volumes of poetry published by Salmon, Eamonn Wall has written two prose books: Writing the Irish West: Ecologies and Traditions (2011) and From the Sin-é Café to the Black Hills: Notes on the New Irish (2000). He lives in Missouri where he is employed by the University of Missouri-St. Louis as a professor of International Studies and English. Eamonn Wall serves on the board of Irish American Writers and Artists Inc., an organization founded to foster and promote the work of Irish American writers and artists. He is also a founder of Scallta Media—an initiative to promote the work of up-and-coming Co. Wexford creative artists.  Eamonn Wall: Your Rivers Have Trained You, a documentary on his career as a writer directed by Paul O’Reilly, was released last year by Lowland Films. www.eamonnwall.net

Victoria, British Columbia

Green, dogwood trees, gnarled oaks
driftwood at Oak Bay.  I am far
north in winter again where daylight
swiftly evaporates, where morning is
as sodden as the Parliament grass.
I have come to an outpost of empire
to encounter familiar separations
and eat familiar dishes.  I remember
your long fingers like sticks in the
stones, your children asleep, my first
view of the Pacific in Mexico when we
lay exhausted and full of songs:
how this ocean makes me want to weep.
I think of the hard air of the prairie
which lurks in each winter maple &
the brilliant light of early morning.
I am soft-skinned, broken-kneed
oar-buried, man-of-war, Irish.

(Copyright Eamonn Wall 1996)

In his second book, Wall's wry imagination bears witness to his astonishing ability to absorb what William Carlos Williams called "the American grain" without losing the intonations of his own idiom. Such double vision, or double-speak, defines the situation of the emigrant writer, and of this group Wall is among the best. An Irish poet living in America, he is equally adept at evoking the teeming cityscape of New York, the vast spaces of the American prairie, and the lush countryside of his native Wexford. Louis Simpson observed that American poetry must have a stomach that can "digest rubber, coal, uranium, moons, poems." Wall's work has already digested Hart Crane's Bridge, Omaha, Mount Rushmore, Lake Michigan and a good deal of junk food. These new poems reveal him as a daring and original poet with an interest in exploring how the surfaces of the present open windows into history.

The Boston Review
Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved.


"His poems are charged with a thoroughly contemporary and a profoundly literary awareness of what it means to be Irish, and a writer, in America."

Kathleen McCracken, Poetry Ireland Review



About Dyckman--200th Street, Eamonn Wall's first collection

"In these extraordinary poems the exile tradition is rejuvenated, given a sharp, current edge. This book marks a significant crosscurrent in contemporary Irish/American literature."

Jack Morgan, Irish Literary Supplement

Other Titles from Eamonn Wall

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