A New book of Poems
from Chuck Kruger
Poet Mary Rose Callan writes: Island Alchemy is Chuck Kruger’s 2nd poetry
collection, a worthy successor to Sourcing.
The poems are
and nature are inextricable linked in many of the poems. The poet wonders
what it would be like to be a gull, flying ‘with my own wings/and
excels in the long narrative poem and many of them carry the reader along
with the dialogue, detail, enormous energy, and wonder….
‘swim beside us, under us, help us discover what it’s like
to be a child again, and how to put our hands into the wound and
this lovely collection Chuck Kruger continues his forward movement as a
poet in a convincing manner.
Dublin Poet Tony Curtis, writes: Chuck Kruger is now very much an island
man, perhaps he always was. Eighteen years ago, with his wife Nell,
What drives his poetry is personal experience: the sad, the
uplifting, the marvellous.… The island is fortunate to have such an
observant writer living on
yes, story is a big part of Kruger’s writing. In his poetry narrative is
to the fore, it is the sails of his ship…. He is a writer who gets up
I feel that over a lifetime of writing Chuck has discovered, as
James Joyce did, that in the ordinary lies the extraordinary…. In all of
seventy, there is something very prayerful too in this poet’s utterance.
As Thomas McCarthy has noted, in Chuck’s poetry there is ‘a sense of
of Island Alchemy by Leo McMahon, The Southern Star,
Saturday, March 5, 2011
was West Cork on the double at City Library recently with the launch of
two books of poems, ‘Island Alchemy’ by Chuck Kruger, Cape
Clear Island and ‘She Be’ by Tina Pisco and both published by
Bradshaw Books, Tight Filí, Cork.
the launch of Island Alchemy, historian, teacher and writer
Diarmuid O’Driscoll said that since American-born Chuck moved to Cape
Clear Island with his wife Nell 25 years ago, he had made a niche for
himself as a writer having published a book of essays on the Gaeltacht
isle, as well as a novel, two collections of short stories and a previous
collection of poetry plus innumerable broadcasts and photographs.
most striking feature of all Chuck’s writing, and especially this
collection of poetry, is his sense of place and more often than not, that
place is Cape…and he gets to the essence of what a place is, its
features, its uniqueness, its magic’.
these poems, we see the stars, the moon, sunrise and sunset, fog, light,
waves, storms, birds, dolphins, whales, cliffs, rocks, ditches,
reek-making, cow milking and so on. But Chuck also has the poet’s eye
– ‘rosc’ as it was known in ancient Ireland – the eye that picks
out what is beautiful and wondrous in nature and human behaviour and goes
further and makes a connection to it, for himself and for the reader
Joyce said Dublin could be reconstructed from the detail of the pages of
you won’t reconstruct Cape from the poems in this collection but you
will see and feel the essence of Cape and of Chuck too,’ Diarmuid
thanks, Chuck Kruger regaled the audience as he recited the poems
‘Cow’, ‘Moonlight Dance’, ‘Pagan Thoughts and a Shag’,
‘Confirmation’ and ‘Grace the Night’ from Island Alchemy, a
collection of 41 new poems and 12 selected from his first collection,
Sourcing, in 2007….[Tina Pisco's review section comes next.]
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