Poetry. The fifth publication of ADVENT, 40 years after Brian Coffey circulated a foolscap Advent Books edition of 25 to family and friends in 1974. Long out of print and in danger of neglect, an extraordinary, certainly mysterious, long poem. Two decades in gestation and composition, the spatial complexities of the poetry have been resolved for this very large scale edition. On one level a poem about a mother's mourning for her son killed in a motorbike accident, it is an 8 section poem based on the canonical hours of the Catholic church. Coffey's poetry was described by Samuel Beckett as constituting the nucleus of a living poetic in Ireland.
Brian Coffey (1905-1995) was born in Dublin and died in Southampton. His first book publication he shared with Denis Devlin in 1930. Third Person was published by poet George Reavey's Europa Press in 1938. Coffey was closely linked to poets Thomas MacGreevy and Samuel Beckett since the 30s, when he lived and worked in Paris, studying under Jacques Maritain, and once meeting James Joyce. T.S. Eliot published his poetry in The Criterion. However, thereafter followed a long writing and publishing silence, the effect as well as the context placing him squarely in a tradition which included David Gascoyne, George Oppen, Basil Bunting, Sean Rafferty, Lynette Roberts, and Laura Riding. In the 1980s Coffey used to read in Southampton with David Gascoyne and F.T. Prince under the banner of The Solent Poets. He translated extensively from French poetry, notably Mallarme.Author City: DUBLIN IRE