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Tuesday 13 November 2018

New poetry by Joe Neal

At the launch in Wexford Library: Imelda Carroll, Wexford Library; author Joe Neal; and Henneke Biewenga of Wexford Book Centre.
At the launch in Wexford Library: Imelda Carroll, Wexford Library; author Joe Neal; and Henneke Biewenga of Wexford Book Centre.

Maria Pepper

Despite a dire amber storm warning, people braved the weather to attend the launch of Joe Neal's sixth poetry collection of poetry, Rosetti's Wombat at Wexford Library.

Actor Joe performed with his usual flourish as he treated visitors to a reading of Allegheny Man, a poem set in the mountains of West Virginia which last year won him the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award.

Writer and critic Tom Mooney opened the launch and explained the strange title of Rossetti's Wombat which derives from one poem about the Victorian artist's menagerie of exotic animals that he kept for the entertainment of his friends.

Joe who recently undertook a poetry performance tour of New England with the help of an Arts Council bursary, describes his poems as 'tuned thoughts'.

During his recent arts council bursary poetry performance tour of New England.

'Putting a poem together is a very strange exercise of thought. An idea drifts into the mind and grabs your attention. This can happen at any time - but once it does, it chases after words, setting them into a kind of melody. I would call this tuned thoughts and that may be a good definition of a poem.'

He said his poem Allegheny Man sprang from 'pure imagination' when he came upon the ruins of an old cabin while climbing in America's Allegheny Mountains.

Rossetti's Wombat, published by Choir Press is available from Wexford Book Centre and other book shops. It can also be ordered on Amazon. Joe will give a reading in Enniscorthy Library at 7pm on Thursday, October 25.

Wexford People

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