Professor Michael O’Neill is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent of which is Return of the Gift. In this reading, recorded in February 2018, Michael O’Neill talks about and reads from this new work – but he begins by going back to the roots of his first collection, The Stripped Bed.
Return of the Gift is a volume about what is given and what is lost. Writing unsentimentally and with insight about powerful subjects such as the death of his mother, caring for his father, and his own recent diagnosis of cancer, the poet speaks of and to his personal and historical life and also explores themes of elegy and friendship. Memories are woven vividly throughout a thematically varied yet coherent collection, in which a witty and moving pleasure in living and language is always to the fore.
This podcast is brought to you in conjunction with the Centre for Poetry and Poetics.