Enda Wyley

Criticism

Life
1966- ; b. Dublin; ed. Carysfort TTC; MA in creative writing, Lancaster Univ.; one-time poet-in-residence at Melbourne Univ.; issued Eating Baby Jesus (1994), Socrates in the Garden (1998), and Poems for Breakfast (2004), collections, twice winning the British National Poetry competition; m. Peter Sirr, with whom a dg. Freya (b.2005); teaches at Rutland St. pre-school in inner-city Dublin; issued The Silver Notebook (2007), the story of child-writer Timothy Flynn, based on an experience of her own chilhood; issued To Wake To This (2009), a new collection.

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Works
Poetry, Eating Baby Jesus (Dublin: Dedalus Press 1994), 72pp., and Socrates in the Garden (Dublin: Dedalus Press 1998), 66pp.; Poems for Breakfast (Dedalus 2004), 64pp. Poems for Breakfast (Dedalus 2004), 64pp.; To Wake To This (Dublin: Dedalus Press 2009), 66pp.

Children’s Fiction, Boo and Bear, ill. Greg Massardier (Dublin: O’Brien Press 2003), 48pp., col. ill.; The Silver Notebook (Dublin O’Brien Press 2007).

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Criticism
[Shirley Kelly, interview-article], ‘I Write in the Summer Holidays’, in Books Ireland (Oct. 2007), pp.210; Teresa Doran, review of The Silver Notebook, in Books Ireland (Oct. 2007), pp.225-26 [‘beautifully written, thought-provoking tale’].

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Commentary
George Szirtes, review of Poems for Breakfast by Wyley and The Chosen Moment by Dermot Bolger, in The Irish Times (11 Sept. 2004), Weekend: ‘Wyley’s best work is intimate and celebratory, and though she makes less frequent use of overt formal devices, it is perhaps the very first poem in the book, “Dish of a Moon”, that offers the most surprising revelation. What begins as a poem about memory and moonlight shifts gorgeously to two foxes “... who have found their way into the garden through the wood of time. Their eyes say: / The moon’is a light left on - its light, there to make you remember”. / In other places like Dermot Bolger she celebrates love and poetry itself with tenderness and grace. [...] poem after poem articulates a feeling that’s entirely attractive. The last poem, about death, opens, like the first on the power of transformation: “Then from the cupped hands of that moment, / Gulls, like a spray of white spirit crumbs, / Flung themselves out [...]” / It’s very good. Why then do I want more from both these fine writers? Why do I want the vessel to be on the point of breaking? Maybe I want the poets to know less clearly what it is they feel or think. I want them to find out.’

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Fred Johnston, review of Poems for Breakfast, in omnibus review [McGuckian, Wyley, Cronin], Books Ireland (March 2005), p.51: ‘Not for some time has this reviewer read a better collection on the small and vital minutiae of relationships played out agaist a surrounding, omnipresent urban background. On the one hand suggestions of privacy; on the other a denial of its possibility. [...] the city is a series of places whose importance lies in what happens in the memory there, not what they are in themselves.’ Further, ‘Bt it is the trembling uncertainties of love itself that Wyley captures here in what may well become a heart-book for lovers old and new to carry in their jeans pocket.’

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Books Ireland (Summer 2009), “First Flush”: Her poems in this book have a celebratory feel to them as she sings the praises of the world around her. Her eye takes in parents who care for their children, a translator grappling with Brecht, a child's first words, waking up in the morning and so on. She is not spendthrift with words but makes every one count as she weaves her images and describes emotions evoked by the ordinary wonders of the world. (p.157.)

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