Poetry Book Group - The Unfixed Horizon, Medbh McGuckian

November 2022 Poetry

The December Poetry Book Group will be meeting via Zoom

Monday, December 19th • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM IST via Zoom
Session open to all: no registration required.

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The Unfixed Horizon: New Selected Poems traces Medbh McGuckian’s remarkable trajectory through fourteen volumes published between 1982 and 2013, amply displaying her bewitching, opulent imagination. A comprehensive introduction by editors Borbála Faragó and Michaela Schrage-Früh offers a valuable overview and rare insight into the work and the myriad influences—both private and public—of this mysterious poet. Their selection perceptively charts the history through which the poet has lived.

McGuckian’s early poems, the editors point out, view Belfast’s sectarian violence through the lens of the female body and domestic imagery, while her political engagement later becomes more direct. McGuckian’s poems are “firmly rooted in Northern Irish soil,” yet encompass a world of interests erotic and maternal, spiritual and sensuous, private and political. Readers open to her enigmatic syntactical structures, wide-angled metaphors, and metamorphic images multiplying in dream-like fashion will be richly rewarded.

This book “shows McGuckian’s best attempts to invent ‘new thoughts’ through radical juxtapositions. . . . The poems in this selection, chosen by two scholars rather than McGuckian herself, are at once lyrical and abstract, intimate and oblique.”
– Heather Clark, The Harvard Review

Medbh McGuckian

About the Author
Medbh McGuckian
was born in Belfast in 1950, where she now lives with her husband and four children. A graduate of The Queen’s University Of Belfast with B.A. and M.A. degrees in English, she was the first woman to be named writer-in-residence in that university, where she now regularly teaches.


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