Joseph Woods

CriticismCommentaryQuotations

Life
1966- ; b. Drogheda; grad. in Biology & Chemistry [UCD]; completed MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University; lived in Japan and travelled in India, China and elsewhere in Asia; has also stayed in Latin America; issued poetry collections Sailing to Hokkaido (2001), winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2000; Bearings (2005); appt. Director of Poetry Ireland/Eigse, 2001; co-edited Our Shared Japan (Dedalus Press, 2007) an anthology of contemporary Irish poetry concerning Japan; he has read at conferences in Dublin, New Delhi (India), Buenes Aires (Argentina), Kobe (Japan), and Medellín (Columbia).

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Works
Poetry
  • Hokkaido (Tonbridge: : Worple Press 2001), q.pp.
  • Bearings (Tonbridge: Worple Press 2005), 63pp.
 
  • Miscellaneous, “Corporate Inc.” [poem], in Journal of Irish Studies (IASIL-Japan), XVII (2002), pp.48-49;
  • co-edited Our Shared Japan (Dedalus Press, 2007) an anthology of contemporary Irish poetry concerning Japan.
 
He is included in Joan McBreen, ed., The Watchful Heart: A New Generation of Irish Poets - Poems & Essays (Moher: Salmon Poetry 2009) [q.pp.]

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Criticism
Fred Johnston, review of Bearings, in Books Ireland (Sept. 2002), p.197-98, notes - inter alia - that “The Singing Gate” incls. a reference to Elizabeth Bowen, one of a sequence dealing with the big houses of his childhood place.

See also Mitsuko Ohno, ‘Hokusai, Basho, Zen and More: Japanese Influences on Irish Poets’, in Journal of Irish Studies (IASIL-Japan), XVII (2002), pp.15-31; pp.19-20; pp.28-31 [questionnaire-response].

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Quotations

         “Silencing the Fog Signals”
Aubade and nocturne, a soundtrack that
filled a landlubber's bedsit days with foreboding
but glad not to be at sea when familiar streets
yielded to new strangeness and the long arm
of the pier was foreshortened. Its boom broke
the silence that fog brings, an intermittent
bovine distress, counterpoint to the mournful
murmur of the sea or leviathan issuing its benign
all day assurance that we are not lost, more in thrall
to a Pavlovian peasoupery. Now there are new
ways to navigate, we will miss its aural consolation
of forgotten worlds like the peal of church bells
in the submerged belfry of the flooded valley.
 
—In The Irish Times (15 Jan. 2011), Weekend Review, p.11.

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