Turning the page: the year ahead in books
Irish writers, including a plethora of debut novelists, feature prominently in 2014’s literary line-up
There are some real goodies in the Irish literary basket this spring. Sebastian Barry’s follow-up to The Secret Scripture is The Temporary Gentleman (Faber and Faber, April), the story of Jack McNulty’s career in the British army. Colm Tóibín goes back to the 1960s for his new novel, Nora Webster (Viking, May), while Joseph O’Connor’s The Thrill of It All (Harvill Secker, May) tracks the formation – and reformation – of a 1980s band. Emma Donoghue’s Frog Music (Picador, March) is inspired by true events in San Francisco in 1876, and the death of a contemporary Irish poet is the starting point for David Park’s The Poets’ Wives (Bloomsbury, February).
Greg Baxter’s Munich Airport (Penguin Ireland, July) is about the families we improvise when our “real” families fall apart; and following the worldwide success of his movie screenplay, Good Vibrations, Glenn Patterson’s new novel is called The Rest Just Follows (Faber and Faber, February). Paul Lynch’s debut, Red Sky in Morning, was a big hit last year: The Black Snow (Quercus, March) is a tale of farming folk set in 1945. Niall Williams offers a History of the Rain (Bloomsbury, April), Liam Ó Muirthile’s An Colm Bán (Cois Life, February) is set at the Folies Bergère in Paris, and a visiting US president is assassinated in Dublin in John Kelly’s From Out of the City (Dalkey Archive Press, May). Among next year’s most ambitious debuts are Darragh McKeon’s All That Is Solid Melts into Air (Viking, March), set in an apartment block in Moscow after Chernobyl, and Léan Cullinan’s The Living (Atlantic Books, June), in which a choral singer and publisher gets mixed up with shadowy republicans.
In fact there’s a plethora of debuts from Irish writers next year, among them Audrey Magee’s The Undertaking (Atlantic Books, February), Mark Mulholland’s A Mad and Wonderful Thing (Scribe, March), Stephen Burke’s The Good Italian (Hodder & Stoughton, May), Jan Carson’s Malcolm Orange Disappears (Liberties Press, June), Patrick O’Keeffe’s The Visitors (Bloomsbury, June), Daniel Seery’s A Model Partner (Liberties Press, February), Mick Scully’s The Norway Room (Tindal Street Press, March) and Rob Doyle’s Here Be the Young Men (Lilliput Press, April).
From UK writers comes a quartet of war novels: Andrew O’Hagan’s The Illuminations (Faber and Faber, May), in which a soldier returns to Scotland from Afghanistan, Adam Foulds’s In the Wolf’s Mouth (Jonathan Cape, February), set in North Africa and Sicily in 1945, Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury, April), set in the summer of 1915, and Tim Pears’s second World War love story, In the Light of Morning (Heinemann, February). Hanif Kureishi’s The Last Word (Faber and Faber, February) is a bleak comedy about a young biographer, while Naomi Wood delves into the married life of Ernest Hemingway in Mrs Hemingway (Picador, February). Tabish Khair tells us How to Fight Islamic Terrorism from the Missionary Position (Corsair, February).
Gary Shteyngart recasts his childhood in Little Failure (Random House, January). A 70-year-old composer is accused of being a bioterrorist Bach in Richard Powers’s Orfeo (Atlantic Books, April), and Ayelet Waldman, aka Mrs Michael Chabon, travels through 100 years of European history in Love and Treasure (John Murray, April).
David Grossmann explores parental grief in Falling Out of Time (Jonathan Cape, February); Damon Galgut uses the life of EM Forster as a springboard for Arctic Summer (Atlantic Books, March); and Javier Cercas follows three charismatic teenagers in Outlaws (Bloomsbury, June). Enrique Vila-Matas is in Hemingway’s Paris in Never Any End to Paris (Harvill Secker, June). Finally, two big Chinese novels to watch out for are Mai Jia’s bestselling spy novel Decoded (Allen Lane, February) and Xiaolu Guo’s love story I Am China (Chatto & Windus, June).
Alain de Botton deconstructs the peculiar role that “the news” plays in our lives in The News: A User’s Manual (Hamish Hamilton, February). One of last year’s most feted journalists, the former Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald, revisits his Edward Snowden spying story – with a few new revelations – in No Place to Hide (Hamish Hamilton, March). There’s a rerun of the Murdoch newspaper debacle in Nick Davies’s Hard Attack (Chatto & Windus, April). The Mafia’s bete noir and author of Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano, takes on the international cocaine trade in Zero Zero Zero (Allen Lane, June), Ken Silverstein exposes The Secret World of Oil (Verso, May) and Harris Irfan ventures into another secret world, that of Islamic finance, in Heaven’s Bankers (Oxford University Press, March).
Evan Osnos shows China as you’ve never seen it before in Age of Ambition (Bodley Head, June). Simon Denyer looks at where India is heading in Rogue Elephant (Bloomsbury, March). The human species is heading for obliteration if the climate-change stats are to be believed. But we mustn’t give up: we must evolve, writes Naomi Klein in The Message (Allen Lane, September).
Sheri Fink brings readers inside a hospital fighting for its life in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Five Days at Memorial (Atlantic Books, February). Helen Collins’s The Short Guide to Divorce Law in Ireland (Cork University Press, February) is a practical handbook for those going through the misery of divorce. The Irish Examiner journalist Conall Ó Fátharta reviews key moments in the campaign for Justice for Magdalenes (Liberties Press, February), and Pat Devitt and Derek Beattie offer a wide-ranging study of Suicide: A Modern Obsession (Liberties Press, March).
The great Czech writer Ivan Klima recalls his life under both Nazi and communist regimes in My Crazy Century (Grove Press, March). The 2011 earthquake in Christchurch is the starting point for Lloyd Jones’s study of his family, A History of Silence (John Murray, March). A coruscating read is promised from Brian Turner, whose poetry inspired the movie The Hurt Locker, in My Life as a Foreign Country (Jonathan Cape, May). There’s drama aplenty as Matt Lewis recounts his time as a marine biologist in Antarctica, in Last Man Off (Viking, June). Henry Marsh offers an insight into brain surgery in Do No Harm (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, March); and John Carey, the biographer of William Golding, reflects on a life lived through books and reading in The Unexpected Professor (Faber and Faber, March).
The first person in Ireland to legally challenge the State ban on assisted suicide, Marie Fleming, who died last week, tells her remarkable life story in An Act of Love (Hachette Ireland, February), and Gearóid Cheaist Ó Catháin remembers being the only child on the Great Blasket in The Loneliest Boy in the World (Collins Press, May).
The chief economic adviser to the mayor of London, Gerard Lyons, predicts that the next 20 years will be one of the strongest-ever periods of growth in The Consolations of Economics (Faber and Faber, April). In I Spend, Therefore I Am (Viking, February), Philip Roscoe argues that economics is not a science but a way of thinking, while Robert J Mayhew says it’s time to rethink our views on population and demography in Malthus: The Life and Legacies of an Untimely Prophet (Harvard University Press, April). Danny Dorling is convinced that housing is at the heart of our financial woes in All That Is Solid (Allen Lane, February), and Diane Coyle offers a brief but affectionate history of GDP (Princeton University Press, March).
The authors of the publishing phenomenon that was Freakonomics, Stephen J Dubner and Steven D Levitt, offer a mental toolkit for entrepreneurs in Think Like a Freak (Allen Lane, May). Paul Roberts explains why we can’t get everything we want in The Impulse Society (Bloomsbury, June). Eddie Hobbs insists that Ireland should be harvesting our natural resources in Own Our Oil (Liberties Press, February). And in Plan B: How Leaving the Euro Can Save Ireland (Gill & Macmillan, March), Cormac Lucey says we should renege on our debt and abandon the single currency.
July marks the centenary of the outbreak of the first World War, and so do many, many books. Gordon Martel reconstructs the build-up moment by moment in July 1914: The Month That Changed the World (Oxford University Press, June). In The Deluge (Allen Lane, March) Adam Tooze analyses the war’s legacy across Europe and beyond, while its effect on the city of London is examined in Jerry White’s Zeppelin Nights (Bodley Head, May). In Blackpool to the Front: A Cork Suburb and the Great War (Collins Press, April) Mark Cronin recalls the involvement of Blackpool men, including his own grandfather, and their families in the war effort. The conflict marked the end of tsarist Russia, writes Dominic Lieven in Towards the Flames (Allen Lane, May). Orlando Figes also focuses on the Russian revolution in A People’s Tragedy (Bodley Head, February).
The Battle of Clontarf is revisited in Morgan Llywelyn’s 1014: The Battle for Ireland (O’Brien Press, April). An in-depth study of Ireland’s landscape, kingships and religion is promised from Edel Bhreathnach’s Ireland in the Medieval World (Four Courts Press, March). Neil Richardson’s account of the 1916 Rising, According to Their Lights (Liberties Press, March), is based on anecdotes and personal accounts, and there are two new volumes in the O’Brien Press 16 Live series commemorating the leaders of the Easter Rising: Sean MacDiarmada, by Brian Feeney and Thomas Clarke, by Helen Litton (both March). Charles Dalton offers an insider account of Michael Collins’s undercover operations in With the Dublin Brigade (Mercier Press, March). Myles Dungan is on the trail of nationalist newspapers in Mr Parnell’s Rottweiler: United Ireland 1881-1891 (Irish Academic Press, March). David Dickson looks at Dublin: The Making of a Capital City (Profile Books, May), and Laurence Fenton re-creates the celebrated 19th-century escaped slave’s visit to this country in Frederick Douglass in Ireland (Collins Press, March).
The Vikings come under the spotlight in Philip Parker’s The Northmen’s Fury (Jonathan Cape, March), and in Outlaws of the Atlantic (Verso, May) Marcus Rediker examines the turbulent age of sail through the eyes of long-dead pirates.
Crime and thrillers
Philip Marlowe is back. Yes, that Philip Marlowe. Benjamin Black has ventured where few crime writers would dare to tread – back to the mean streets of Raymond Chandler – rebooting the noir genre in The Black-Eyed Blonde (Mantle, February). A shiver-inducing snowscape adorns the cover of John Connolly’s 12th Charlie Parker novel, The Wolf in Winter (Hodder & Stoughton, April). Stuart Neville’s The Final Silence (Harvill Secker, June) sees a woman force open a locked room in a house she inherits from an uncle she never knew. Claire McGowan’s Border-town forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is on the trail of a serial killer in The Dead Ground (Headline, April) while murders committed in Kilmainham 100 years apart are the subject of Anna Heussaff’s Bás i bPríosún (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, March).
Thickets Wood (Liberties Press, April) is a spooky chiller from Rebecca Reid, author of the 2012 ebook hit The Coop. In the Morning I’ll Be Gone (Serpent’s Tail, January) is the final instalment of Adrian McKinty’s Belfast-set Sean Duffy trilogy, but there’s a new Duffy on the scene in Dan Kavanagh’s eponymous bisexual London-based PI (Little Brown, April). Peter Quinn’s Dry Bones (Duckworth, April) places a detective by the name of Fintan Dunne in the shadowy realms of cold-war skulduggery.
Nordic noir continues to shine with new outings for the Swede Mons Kallentoft (The Fifth Season, Hodder & Stoughton, April), the Dane Jussi Adler-Olsen (Guilt, Michael Joseph, February) and the Icelander Yrsa Siggurdardottir (The Silence of the Sea, Hodder & Stoughton, February). John Harvey’s DI Charlie Resnick series comes to an end with Darkness, Darkness (Heinemann, May) while James Craig’s Inspector Carlyle series is hotting up in volume six, A Man of Sorrows (Constable & Robinson, February).
Wylie “Coyote” Melville is the anti-hero at the centre of John Dufresne’s No Regrets, Coyote (Serpent’s Tail, February), set in Eden, Florida. Another Eden – a luxury guesthouse in the stunning South African wine town of Franschhoek – is the scene of a bloodbath in Deon Meyer’s Cobra (Hodder & Stoughton, July).
Two fun volumes from the Hammer franchise are Cat Out of Hell (Hammer, February), from the author of the bestselling Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Lynne Truss, and Breakfast with the Borgias (Hammer, June) from the part-time Leitrim resident DBC Pierre.
On the thriller front, Louis Bayard’s The Beast in the Jungle (John Murray, March) finds the former US president Theodore Roosevelt and his son sailing down the Amazon in 1914; Louise Welsh’s A Lovely Way to Burn (John Murray, March) is the first in a trilogy pandemic set in London; and the debut novel from the Fair City screenwriter Liz Nugent is a genre-bending story of a sociopathic husband from an affluent Dublin suburb, Unravelling Oliver (Penguin Ireland, March).
She helped eradicate TB from Ireland by bringing in the BCG, yet many of us have never heard of her – which makes Anne MacLellan’s life of Dorothy Stopford-Price, Consumption and Controversy (Irish Academic Press, April), particularly welcome.
Another controversial figure, the property developer who blew the whistle on the “golden circle”, is celebrated in Frank Connolly’s Tom Gilmartin (Gill & Macmillan, April). Dick Beson Gyles digs down to the Irish roots of an enigmatic explorer in A Quest for TE Lawrence (Lilliput Press, June). Little is known about the novelist who gave us Philip Marlowe – but he did spend some time in Ireland, reports Tom Williams in Raymond Chandler (Aurum Press, February). Having written mammoth biographies of Eliot, Dickens and Blake, Peter Ackroyd turns his attention to Charlie Chaplin (Chatto & Windus April), and Rachel Holmes tells the dramatic story of the first modern feminist and daughter of the revolutionary Karl, in Eleanor Marx (Bloomsbury, May).
One Irish poet examines the work of another – and argues for a more thoughtful response to women poets in general – in Leontia Flynn’s Medbh McGuckian (Irish Academic Press, February).
The critic Denis Donoghue looks at how metaphor changes our sense of the world in Metaphor (Harvard University Press, April), while there’s new history of Irish literature from Robert Anthony Welch, the scholar who died last year, in The Cold of May Day Monday (Oxford University Press, April). Irish writing that has been instrumental in socioeconomic and cultural development is revisited by Tom Garvin and Brian Fanning (eds) in Irish Arguments: Books That Shaped Ireland (Irish Academic Press/Merrion, March), while an unpublished collection of essays by Hubert Butler will appear as The Appleman and the Poet (Lilliput Press, February). And Nathan Wallace co-opts our most respected literary figures as ethical guides for conflict resolution in The Irish Hellenism and the Politics of Reconciliation in Ireland from WB Yeats to the Field Day Theatre Company (Cork University Press, March).
Are we a cosmic fluke? Yes, argues David Waltham’s Lucky Planet (Icon Books, March). Lucie Green goes to the surface of the sun – and beyond – in 15 Million Degrees (Viking, April). Michio Kaku tours the world’s top laboratories in search of The Future of the Mind (Allen Lane, February). Pedro G Ferreira offers an accessible history of Einstein’s theory of relativity in The Perfect Theory (Little, Brown, February), and in Life and Physics (Headline May) Jon Butterworth gives an insider’s account of the hunt for the Higgs boson.
The sleep expert Kat Duff investigates The Secret Life of Sleep (Oneworld, April), while John McKenna of the Food Clinic looks at the uses and misuses of some well-known drugs in Antibiotics (Gill & Macmillan, May). The study habits commonly used by students are rubbish, according to Peter C Brown, Henry L Roedinger III and Mark A McDaniel’s Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (Harvard University Press, April). Finally, Jordan Ellenberg’s How Not to Be Wrong: The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life (Allen Lane, June) describes Godel’s theorem using only one-syllable words – and tells you how early you actually need to get to the airport.
A new collection from Lorrie Moore is always a joy, and in the eight stories of Bark (Faber and Faber, March) she explores the theme of the passage of time. Who wouldn’t love a story entitled Letters to a Frozen Pea Manufacturer? That’s in Can’t and Won’t (Hamish Hamilton, April), from the winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2013, Lydia Davis. AL Kennedy offers a dozen stories looking at love, and the lack of it, in All the Rage (Jonathan Cape, March), while the twilight between humour and darkness is where Orna Ní Choileáin’s characters find themselves in Sciorrann an tAm (Cois Life, February). There are typically dark slices of northern life in the Norwegian master Kjell Askildsen’s Selected Stories (Dalkey Archive Press, May). And the Derry-born writer Donal McLaughlin offers family life with a twist in Beheading the Virgin Mary and Other Stories (Dalkey Archive Press, April).
Maeve Binchy’s Chestnut Street (Orion May) is a series of linked stories set on the eponymous street. There’s trouble on an idyllic island in Roisin Meaney’s After the Wedding (Hachette Ireland, April). The author of the bestselling Me Before You, Jo Jo Moyes, is back with The One Plus One (Penguin Ireland, February) while the violence of the first World War and the Easter Rising are at the centre of Lia Mills’s Fallen (Penguin Ireland, April). The new book from the author of Fried Green Tomatoes, Fannie Flagg, is grandly titled The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion (Chatto & Windus, March).
Lucy Robinson’s The Girl Who Sang in the Wardrobe (Michael Joseph, July) is set at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and Emma Hannigan’s Summer in Caracove (Hachette Ireland, March) finds three generations of women living in a small seaside town.
Everyone’s out to persuade us, but nobody gives good reasons any more, reckons James Garvey in Easily Swayed (Icon Books, June). Kenan Malik is on The Quest for a Moral Compass (Atlantic Books, April). The mythology associated with four celebrated Irish landscapes – Newgrange, Rathcroghan, Navan and Tara – is explored in John Waddell’s Archaeology and Celtic Myth (Four Courts Press, March).
A series of prose pieces from the Dublin poet Aidan Carl Matthews form a sort of secular prayerbook in Laments into Dances (Lilliput Press, March). Daniel Goleman teaches us to pay attention in Focus (Bloomsbury, January). The Irish Times columnist Padraig O’Morain teaches Mindfulness for Busy People (Hodder & Stoughton, May); the actor, farmer and counsellor Mary McEvoy shares her tips for coping with the bad days – and the good ones – in Ordinary Beauty (Hachette Ireland, April); and Susan Pinker ponders whether digital doodling is doing us real social harm in The Village Effect (Atlantic Books, May).
Here be scandals that would make the Downton Abbey scriptwriters blush: Terence Dooley’s The Decline and Fall of the Dukes of Leinster (Four Courts Press, April) is a rip-roaring tale that begins amid the Palladian grandeur of Carton House, in Co Kildare, and ends in a bedsit in Westminster.
Vivid first-person accounts form the backbone of Selina Todd’s The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class (John Murray, April) while the story of an immigrant family’s contribution to American art, journalism and public life is told in Colum Kenny’s An Irish-American Odyssey (University of Missouri Press, April). Vivien Igoe recreates the tightly woven fabric of Dublin in 1906 with an illustrated compendium of Joyce’s 900-plus eccentrics, Characters in Ulysses (Lilliput Press, June).
The author of last year’s controversial book on Asian Tiger mothers, Amy Chua, teams up with hubby Jed Rubenfeld to look at the rise and fall of cultural groups in The Triple Package (Bloomsbury, February). Grumpy old man extraordinaire PJ O’Rourke turns his eagle eye on The Baby Boom (Grove Press, March). The Sunday Times columnist India Knight offers tips for ageing disgracefully in In Your Prime (Fig Tree, June), and in Thanks for the Feedback (Portfolio, March) Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone have some advice on how to take criticism – gracefully.
The novelist and activist Dave Eggers freewheels his way from Syria to Cuba, and from Thailand to Croatia, in Visitants (Hamish Hamilton, May). The Almost Nearly Perfect People (Jonathan Cape, February) takes Michael Booth on a tour of the five Nordic countries and their curious, often conflicting tribes. Chris Driving Over Lemons Stewart returns with an update on life as a celebrity pensioner in southern Spain, Last Days of the Bus Club (Sort Of Books, June), leaving lemons to Helena Atlee, whose The Land Where Lemons Grow (Particular Books, April) traces the history of citrus in Italy, from Calabria in the second century to links with organised crime.
Toby Wilkinson sails through Egypt’s past and present in The Nile (Bloomsbury, February) while Justin Marozzi digs deep for Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood (Allen Lane, May). Harry Bucknell walks from St Paul’s in London to St Peter’s in Rome in Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim (Bloomsbury, May). Last but not least, 350 golf courses plus one man in a camper van equals an affectionate travelogue in Kevin Markham’s Driving the Green: an Irish Golfing Adventure (Collins Press, May).
As the globe gears up for a World Cup in Brazil this summer, we can expect a flood of soccer books. One place to start might be David Goldblatt’s The Game of Our Lives (Viking, March), which asks whether the centrality of soccer to culture is really such a good thing. James Montague has some advice, as if we needed it, on how not to qualify for the World Cup, in Thirty-One Nil (Bloomsbury, May). The Brazilian wunderkind with the magic feet and horrid hairdo is the subject of Luca Caioli’s Neymar (Icon Books, April).
Kevin Mitchell takes to the grand-slam road with the biggest names in modern tennis in Break Point (John Murray, May). Charlie Connelly collects tales – and, indeed, tails – from 20 years of world cricket in Elk Stopped Play (Bloomsbury, March).
Jimmy Kelly’s Sport in Ireland, 1600-1840 (Four Courts Press, March) is a marathon in itself, tracing archery, boxing, cricket, cockfighting, bull baiting, horse racing and wrestling, as well as hurling and football, from the 17th century to the onset of the Famine.
Finally, three contrasting books from the world of the wheel. The cyclist Michael Barry gives his take on doping in the peleton in Shadows on the Road (Faber and Faber, May); Tim Moore cycles the route of the Giro d’Italia on a 100-year-old bike that he made himself in A Tour of Italy (Yellow Jersey, May); and Feargal McKay’s encyclopaedic The Complete Book of the Tour de France (Aurum Press, June) should do exactly what it says on the tin.
In 1982 Simon Parkes bought a derelict building in London for £1 – and turned it into a renowned music venue. He celebrates its 30th anniversary with Live at the Brixton Academy (Serpent’s Tail, January). The personal writings of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, who took his own life in 1980, are ironically entitled So This Is Permanence (Faber and Faber, April), while the singer, rapper and actor Plan B tells his life story in the unironically titled My Story (Orion, May). Do babies really remember music from the womb? Does classical music increase IQ? Victoria Williamson explores these and many other musical topics from a scientific perspective in You Are the Music (Icon Books, March). And Rob Jovanovic has found a great title for his study of an iconic British band in God Save the Kinks (Aurum Press, March).
You don’t expect James Joyce to turn up in this category, but Robert Joseph Brazeau and Derek Gladwin examine his ecoconsciousness in their collection of essays, Irish Eco-Joyce (Cork University Press, April). Tim Bradford is doing a bit of a Joyce in A London Country Diary (Icon Books, April), presenting the streets of north London with all their hidden wildlife and eccentric characters. In his history of invasive species, Ken Thompson asks Where Do Camels Belong? (Profile Books, March).
A creature so rare that a sighting has never been recorded is the subject of Richard Girling’s The Hunt for the Golden Mole (Chatto & Windus, June). Zoe Devlin’s field guide to the Wildflowers of Ireland (Collins Press, March) contains 530 flowers, 1,300 photos and a wealth of personal knowledge. Based on a popular BBC Radio 4 series, Tweet of the Day (Saltyard Books, April), by Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss, provides vivid biographies of 225 favourite birds.
And a collection of photographs by John Carlos showcases the landscape and people of our Atlantic Coast in Ireland’s Western Islands (Collins Press, April).
Already earmarked as the One City: One Book title for 2014, If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Dedalus Press, February) is a lively anthology, edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth, that explores the city street by street. Paula Meehan and Jody Allen Randolph have put together an anthology to celebrate Eavan Boland’s 70th birthday, A Poet’s Dublin (Gallery Press, May). Tom Paulin draws on nearly four decades of work for his New Selected Poems (Faber and Faber, May). There’ll be new collections from the Belfast poet Ciaran Carson (From Elsewhere, Gallery Press, March), the Co Down poet Moyra Donaldson (The Goose Tree, Liberties Press, March), Galway’s Caoilinn Hughes (Gathering Evidence, Gallery Press, February) and Vona Groarke, whose collection X (Gallery Press, February) is a Poetry Book Society recommendation.
An annotated anthology edited by Andrew Carpenter and Lucy Collins, The Irish Poet and the Natural World, looks at Irish texts from the Tudors to the Romantics (Cork University Press, March). Peter Fallon’s first collection in seven years is Strong, My Love (Gallery Press, April). And a year in the life of the poet Sean Ó Ríordáin is reproduced – complete with diary doodles and caricatures – in editor Tadhg Ó Dúshláine’s Sleachta as Dialann Sheáin Uí Ríordáin (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, March).