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image of front cover of ILL NATURE showing a dead tree

photo of John McKeown
ILL NATURE, John McKeown Paperback ISBN 978-1-869848-30-9, £10.00. 3 October 2022

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The title of John McKeown’s new collection of poems involves a punning conflation of sardonic ill humour and our environmentally ill planet. The spare elegance of his previous work is very much in evidence here, with a grimmer, bracingly bleaker note, in work which strips away the poetically comforting in favour of starker, purer vignettes of the urbanized nature around us and the inescapable allure of the opposite sex.There’s quiet passion here, naked honesty, dryly-humorous confession and a certain bitter-sweet appreciation of the heart’s ongoing misadventures.

"John McKeown’s work is graceful in symmetry and form…”" RTE Culture

"His largely unembroidered style is nevertheless rich with lyrical intensity….And McKeown has attitude in abundance." Steve Spence

"McKeown’s written work possesses a darkly romantic desolation." John O’Regan, Irish Music Magazine

"…authentic feeling that makes his poetry, at its best, so powerful and convincing." Stride Magazine

"Pure poetry!" Margaret Poole,BBC Radio Merseyside

"An authentic poet" Humphrey Astley,The Crank Magazine


For history, biography and more poetry, see this publisher's other imprint, Campanula Books