James Harpur’s fourth collection includes intimate responses to love, birth and death, and explores faith and vision in searching and unsentimental terms. His powerful poetry gives a new perspective on the travels and travails of early Irish saints and on the Syrian pillar hermit St Symeon Stylites. In these and other poems – about the Book of Kells, a monk and his `star-timetable’, and translations from Boethius – Harpur’s lyric gift finds moments of illumination and grace in the ordinary as well as the miraculous.
James Harpur has published three previous books of poetry and a translation of Boethius’s poems entitled Fortune’s Prisoner. Awards for his poetry include the 1995 British National Poetry prize, and bursaries from Cork Arts, the Arts Council, the Eric Gregory Trust and the Society of Authors. His non-fiction books include Love Burning in the Soul, an introduction to Christian mystics. He has held residencies at the Munster Literature Centre, Cork, and Exeter Cathedral. He lives in Co. Cork.