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Liberty Hall - Michael O'Loughlin

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Liberty Hall
Michael O'Loughlin
Paperback / softback
New Island Books
UK Publication Date

Michael O'Loughlin was seven years old when the Irish trade union movement replaced its headquarters, Liberty Hall - the starting point of the 1916 Rising - with Ireland's first skyscraper. This bold, seventeen-storey Liberty Hall expressed an aspiration towards the modernity which its builders envisaged as the birthright of future generations. Since then, as one of Dublin's most iconic buildings, Liberty Hall has cast a personal and political light on the lives of citizens passing below, and formed the backdrop to O'Loughlin's earliest childhood memories.

In this remarkable new book - a highly original fusion of poetry, visual images and prose memoirs - Liberty Hall becomes both a real and imaginary space, a physical building and a state of mind in which to be free; a place where the boundaries between verbal and visual, poetry and prose, past and present, city and suburb, local and global, all become fluid. It is a book of numerous journeys: the ritualised crossing of the Liffey from North to South and back again; travels around European cities; and into O'Loughlin's own family history in the first difficult century of the Irish state. He explores the emotional weather through memory, cinema and architecture, arriving in the end at Liberty Hall.

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MICHAEL O'LOUGHLIN was born in Dublin in 1958 and studied at Trinity College Dublin. He has published six collections of poetry, including Another Nation: New and Selected Poems (1996), In This Life (2011) and Poems: 1980-2015, published by New Island Books (2017). He has published numerous translations, critical essays and reviews, as well as writing screenplays and journalism. He has been Writer in Residence in Galway City and County, Writer Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, and is a member of Aosdna.

O'Loughlin remains refreshingly counter-lyrical to the dominant chord of pathos in much contemporary poetry.The engines of his poems are oftenfuelledby anger. Heis a poet not just of language, but of strong opinionand ideas, and one with an international and political dimension.Liberty Hallis a welcome and brilliant addition to his work.

Irish Independent - Paul Perry

Liberty Hall shows that O'Loughlin remains a disruptive thinker, disinterring platitudes, labels and nationalities. He is a quizzical intellectual, equally at home and displaced in all cultures. This allows him to write intimately about Dublin, while retaining an outsider's perspective when scrutinising fault lines in his family's and his country's history.

Sunday Business Post - Dermot Bolger

Keyword Index
Dublin (Ireland) - Poetry.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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