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Writing Modern Ireland$
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Catherine E Paul

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082693

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082693.001.0001

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date: 19 October 2018

The Use of Memory: Michael Coady’s All Souls

The Use of Memory: Michael Coady’s All Souls

(p.116) The Use of Memory: Michael Coady’s All Souls
Writing Modern Ireland

Eamonn Wall

Liverpool University Press

This essay analyzes Michael Coady's third collection of poetry, All Souls (1997), with particular emphasis on its treatment of diaspora, small-town life, national history, and family history. All Souls combines poetry with memoir, photography, and elements of collage and a family tree “to reflect the interlocking and overlapping territories of peoples and places and time and memory across Ireland and America.” It embraces poetic and colloquial voices, the Irish and English languages, the experiences of the Irish diaspora, and the residual experiences of loss felt by those who remained in Ireland. This essay examines how, in “The Use of Memory,” the extended final section of All Souls, Coady indicates the undesirability and impossibility of separating familial and national narratives.

Keywords:   memory, Michael Coady, poetry, All Souls, national history, family history, Ireland, America, Irish diaspora

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