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Breaking News
Breaking News

Breaking News


59 Pages, 5.75 x 9.5

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $18.95 (US $18.95) (CA $24.95)

Publication Date: November 2003

ISBN 9781930630116

Rights: US & CA

Wake Forest University Press (Nov 2003)

Price: $18.95


Few poets can alter readers’ orientation as radically as does Ciaran Carson. In Breaking News, this former master of the long line employs two- and three-syllable lines to alter tempo, the time of his narrative, and the distinction between separate wars and eras. The imperial past, which haunts Belfast in its Crimean place-names, its violence, and its scissorblade meeting of different cultures, bleeds into the present. In many of these poems Carson brings into a visual and tactile present of smell and sound and taste radical revisions of paintings, other poems, and bulletins of a war correspondent “to accommodate rhyme and rhythm,” as he says in his notes, or to post, as Pound says of poetry, the “news that stays news.” Winner of the 2003 Forward Prize for Best Poetry Collection.

Author Biography

Born in 1948 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ciaran Carson studied at Queen’s University, Belfast, where, from 2003–2015, he served as the director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. Though recently retired from that post, he continues to teach a postgraduate poetry workshop there, in addition to overseeing the Belfast Writers’ Group.Earlier in his career (from 1975–1998), Ciaran Carson acted as an arts officer for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He is also a member of Aosdána and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. A writer of both poetry and prose—fiction and non-fiction alike—Ciaran Carson has also translated many texts, including The Midnight Court, a work of the eighteenth-century poet Brian Merriman, and a version of Dante’s The Inferno, which won the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize. His other awards include the first-ever T. S. Eliot Prize (1994, for First Language), and the Forward Prize for Best Collection (2003, for Breaking News).As well as being a significant poet and careful translator, Carson is also a scholar of traditional Irish music; he frequently plays the flute alongside his wife, the accomplished Irish fiddler Deirdre Shannon. He has said: “I’m not interested in ideologies . . . I’m interested in the words, and how they sound to me, how words connect with experience, of fear, of anxiety . . . Your only responsibility is to the language.”