Author: Mark Ward
Mark Ward's long-awaited first collection Nightlight is a journey through a city and a reaching towards whatever light can be found; be that in a sex club, with a board game, a new friendship or a changing relationship. Throughout this journey, Ward feels his way back to touchstones of queer history as well as trying to make himself at home in his surroundings and his increasingly rebellious brain. These poems, deeply attuned to craft and form, mark the arrival of a fearless new voice in Irish poetry addressing sexuality, mental health, and the intricacies of relationships with a fresh eye and fierce command. "Nightlight shows Mark Ward confronting the dark with panache. The defiance of the speakers at the start of this collection, however, is hard-won. The self here is under relentless attack, both from subtle prejudice and the winds that threaten all our most intimate connections. A librarian learns a new friend is desperate to die, a loving mother and son face a future as 'two ellipses, scattered into full stops.' Accessible and authentic, these poems glow with feeling." - John McCullough "In Nightlight, Mark Ward gives us poems that are closely attuned to the body, to physical encounter, to the way history exists inside and beyond us. Ward's poems sing from the testimony of memory, decipher its evidences, and trace its passage, both as it enters us and as it leaves. These lyrics are unashamed and visceral." - Seán Hewitt "In one poem, Mark Ward writes 'body parts should become agents of commotion, ' at another point he writes 'each touch is a spotlight.' In this powerful, energetic collection, the reader is asked to witness the performances, loving, erotic, fearful, which the body must endure." - Andrew McMillan
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