New and selected poems chosen by Dave Kavanagh.
Shirley’s talent is in her ability to condense a story and turn it into a technically superb poem that resonates with readers on several levels. In her writing she examines life and the struggles she has encountered in such a way as to allow the reader to immerse themselves, to feel the joy and the pain. She is often humourous, sometime self depracating but always worthy.
The Still Room is written for me!
If poetry is written to awaken me from my sleep and to calm the clamor of my most conflicted and sacred moments then the The Still Room is written for me. And all the best writing feels this way and reminds me that purpose is not something you are born with or that someone assigns you; you must find it and hold it and cultivate it and and protect it even through the ridiculous, the corrosive, and fateful.
It’s always tricky separating the speaker, the “me/I” of a poem, from that poem’s writer. Many times while reading The Still Room I had to lower the book and blink, just take a break and hope that some distance existed between Shirley and the persona presented in her poetry. Then again, could her poetry be so very rich if much distance existed at all?