4-Trevor Joyce

portrait-by-eva-pollert-originalFor almost fifty years, since publication of his first book in 1967, Trevor Joyce has been a unique voice in Irish writing. His books include with the first dream of fire they hunt the cold (New Writers’ Press & Shearsman Books, 2001/3), Courts of Airs and Earth (Shearsman Books, 2006), What’s in Store (New Writers’ Press & The Gig, 2007), and Selected Poems 1967-2014 (Shearsman Books, 2014). Rome’s Wreck (Cusp Books, 2014) is a translation under constraint from the English of Edmund Spenser’s “Ruines of Rome”, and Fastness (Miami University Press, forthcoming) is translated from Spenser’s “Mutability Cantos.”

His early work explored possibilities of the lyric, and began a lifelong engagement with translation. In the mid-seventies he gave up publishing and turned instead to the study of Chinese poetry, while working as a systems analyst in industry. His later work, following twenty years silence, is unparalleled within Irish poetry. Successive books explore the possibilities of found text, computer-mediated composition, writing under constraint, and radical approaches to translation.

Joyce co-founded, in Dublin, the New Writers’ Press and its journal The Lace Curtain in the late sixties, and then the annual SoundEye Festival in Cork in the nineties. He has been included in representative anthologies, including the Penguin Book of Irish Poetry and the OUP Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 2002/3 and served as Visiting Fellow in Poetry to the University of Cambridge in 2009/10. He was elected to Aosdána, the Irish affiliation of artists, in 2004, and has been awarded in Italy the 2016 N.C. Kaser Poetry Prize.

What do you suggest people might read online in advance of hearing you?

There’s a bunch of stuff here. Also The Phantom Quarry. But neither’s necessary.

Where can we find one critical (or other) response to your work that you have found provocative, interesting, insightful or generative?

This is one of the few intelligent extended pieces online, but it ain’t recent. See also essays by Fergal Gaynor and David Lloyd in Niamh O’Mahony (ed.) Essays on the Poetry of Trevor Joyce (Shearsman, 2015).

Point us towards some examples of work in other media (art/cinema/music etc) that inflect upon your work, in any way at all:

Steve Reich’s Different Trains

What readings or performances most shook you up, and why?

Tom Raworth reading anything [http://www.tomraworth.com/]

Kamau Brathwaite Negus

What writing (or whose writing)  is exciting you now?

Maggie O’Sullivan

Nate Mackey

Fanny Howe

Susan Howe

Peter Manson

What/who do you wish you read more of yourself?

Original texts in other languages, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, German, ancient Greek, Irish . . .