Reviews of poetry and short story collections

"Ger Reidy's poetry is inspired by the untamed landscape of Mayo, his lyrics are peppered with hard-hitting musings on the perennial problems tha have bedevilled life on the fringe." - The Irish Times

"A Mayo poet who views country life in the West with an admirable simplicity and affectionate humour - what cynicism there is, is of the loving sort - and who therefore is very readable." - Books Ireland

"Ger Reidy's use of language has a quiet, unassuming simplicity which belies the power of his imagery and the eloquence of his words." - Arts West magazine

"There is a quietness, a poetic reserve, at the heart of this book that draws you slowly but assuredly into a world of gentle asides... The images are fresh and the emotions uncompromisingly honest. Buy the book. It's a wise move." - Dermot Healy, Cyphers

"Reidy's poems are powerful and careful constructs buried deep for the most part in the landscape and determinations of the West of Ireland... This is the West writ raw without tourist trappings." - Fred Johnston, Books Ireland



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"His work is not far removed from the Mayo gothic of Paul Durcan and Mike McCormick but Reidy is more attuned to the artifices of his work, and there are wry asides on the quiet life the poems observe ... (His poems) ponder well the unregarded nature of his own material, nodding to Seamus Heaney's "The Tollund Man", when Reidy describes a bog body "waiting in vain to be discovered, freeze- /framed into inarticulate verb". - John McAuliffe, The Irish Times

"Ger Reidy's poems fizzle like fireworks on a November evening. Reidy makes much out of his Mayo locales, but not for geographic reasons of identity or belonging, but more as building blocks for direct lyrical statements which often leave the reader astounded at how much philosophic weight Reidy can give a short 15-20 line poem. There are no meta-poetic tricks here. There are straightforward lyric poems which yield their meanings without undue effort. To quote this or that excerpt from Reidy is to do him a disservice. This volume deserves to be read in its entirety with the same intense concentration which has gone into the poems' making. Reidy avoids any pastoralism and his Kavanagh-like realism and eye for the particular neither celebrates nor condemns his own parish. As he writes in "The Settlement": "out here, like everywhere/I have learned that this is all there is." This reminds you of Philip Larkins' famous line "Here no elsewhere underwrites my existence" (from the "The Importance of Elsewhere") and Reidy's poems echo the grounded concision of Larkin albeit with his customary gloom. Perhaps a happier comparison would be R. S. Thomas whose poems attain an astonishing lyrical amplitude out of the slightest of rural subject matters, as Reidy's do here." - Benjamin Keating, Poetry Ireland Review

"Ger Reidy's writing stands very close to that veil that seperates us from self-knowledge and from other times and dimensions. His language is not of the sentimental nor the ornamental land.No, it is accurate in its meaty precision, in its hard stare at the terrible face of nature - the windy gaps, the endless drudgery, the battle for surival on a small farm while at the same time heartbreaking in its ardent longing to fall into nature. Ger often places himself on the cusp or the margin of things, in the borderlands, looking out and looking in simultaneously." - Alice Maher

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