One of the most engaging voices contemporary spirituality in is that of the Irish poet, Pdraig O'Tuama. This second poetry collection arises out of a decade of his hearing stories of people who have lived through personal and political conflict in Northern Ireland, the Middle East and other places of conflict. These poems tell stories of individuals who have lived through conflict: their loves and losses, their hope and generosity. One poem, 'Shaking hands' was written when Pdraig witnessed the historic handshake between Queen Elizabeth II and Martin McGuinness, who has since used the poem publicly. The phrase 'Sorry for your troubles' is used all over Ireland. It comes directly from an Irish phrase, yet Irish has no word for 'bereavement' - the word used is 'troiblid'. So the phrase would be better translated 'Sorry for your bereavements'. With this in mind, this new book speaks evocatively about a time when thousands of people lost their lives and many
thousands more lived through the searing pain of grief.
Tuama lives in Belfast. He is a popular speaker at Greenbelt, leads an annual retreat on Iona, and tours churches, retreat centres, pubs and literary festivals throughout the UK and in the US and Australia.
'A shiver still goes through me whenever I hear or read 'The Facts of Life', one of the poems in the collection.'
Retreats - Jill Keegan