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Friday, 14 May 2010

Featured Poet: Declan Ryan

Eyewear is very pleased to welcome the poet Declan Ryan to these pages, this first Friday of the New Politics and/or The Coalition. We'll see. Ryan was born in Mayo, Ireland and recently completed the Creative Writing MA at Royal Holloway. He organises and hosts a monthly poetry event called Days of Roses which showcases Royal Holloway students alongside established guest poets.

I was fortunate enough to have read at one of these events, and was utterly impressed with the quality of the younger poets being featured in the very cool setting, and Ryan's savvy emceeing - a balance of warmth and discipline. Ryan is currently co-editing an anthology of 12 poets who have read at Days of Roses, which will appear any day now. Ryan, as poet, represents the next wave of recent graduates - a generation entirely 21st century in outlook, and able to pick and choose what of the last century appeals, but also forge their own styles.

Ryan's poems tend to fuse references to music and personal narrative with a tender and subtle erotic perspective - at once sensitive and witty. There's Muldoon, Lumsden and Paterson there, perhaps, but something fully his own too. He has great promise. He'll be reading for the Oxfam Bookfest in July.

Baking with Kathryn


Two halved eggs are brittle castanets, their parted shells
at no risk in your hands despite their bloom, calcium crystals
thick, a liquid line slides, one to the next.

Dark chocolate snaps into splinters beneath your thumb,
between pinning your hair with a grip and miming drums,
two clean whisks your soft jazz brushes.

When the machinery stops we hear the start of Beeswing,
of work next to a laundry girl, animal in her eyes, a rare thing
then as now to find such fineness stilled.

While we wait you play Debussy’s Sarabande, with élégance
grave et lente, and I watch your fingers in a practiced dance,
forgetting what we have left to the heat.

poem by Declan Ryan
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