Friday, October 05, 2007

Walsh's Bachelors now available as Digital Download from

Going Around with Bachelors
Narrated by the author with unaccompanied ballads sung by Simone Savard-Walsh. In this recording the author reads a selection of poems from her recent book of poems published by Brick Books (2007). The poems are interspersed with the unaccompanied ballad singing of Walsh's daughter Simone Savard-Walsh. This Digital Download is made available through Rattling Books courtesy of Brick Books and the author.
The spirit of the departed - source, origin, heritage, history - is the essence of this book, rich with the tang of Newfoundland speech. Agnes Walsh's first collection of poems, In the Old Country of My Heart, is one of the best loved poetry works to come out of Newfoundland. Going Around with Bachelors continues and extends Walsh's distinctive subject matter: the past in the present, Ireland and Portugal in Newfoundland, weather internal and external, the Cape Shore. Here are poems of place and of people in place, of family both immediate and extended. They are also absolutely contemporary poems by a poet, gifted with a remarkably flexible and distinctive voice, who is planted, in her own words, "straight up and down into what's new."
The Laying Out, 1956
Wash the corpse, put on the habit,
put the pennies on the eyelids,
the prayer book under the jaw,
fold the arms with the rosary beads
entwined around the fingers,
stop the clock, turn the looking glass
to the wall, knock him on the forehead
with the hammer to make sure he's dead.
"...Walsh's poetry is like nothing else you will read: 'clean as a shriek,' declarative, funny in all the unexpected places, full of unadorned wisdom and bone-naked sadness. There is no word for what you will find here - the closest we have is truth."
- Lisa Moore
"As Walsh explores her home and its past, or travels to Ireland or Portugal, she adheres to a phrase from Mary Oliver that she quotes at the beginning of one poem: 'the usual is news enough.' In these poems Walsh's usual becomes a thing of great and enduring beauty."
- Bill Robertson, The StarPhoenix
"...Me and Ye is pure, oral and aural delight."
- George Elliott Clarke, The Chronicle Herald
"Hearing Walsh’s work performed is a mesmerizing experience, for the rhythms of the poems themselves, the power of their narratives, and for the experience of listening to Walsh’s rich reading voice."
- Mark Callanan, The Independent