Read ‘The Long Path’, Ron Carey’s Allingham Poetry Prize winning poem

Award tees up launch of poet’s new collection in Limerick and Dublin

Ron Carey: his first poetry collection Distance was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2016

Ron Carey: his first poetry collection Distance was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2016

a
 

Ron Carey was awarded the Allingham Poetry Prize 2018 last Saturday in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal by fellow poet Theo Dorgan, who judged the final stage of the competition after Jessica Traynor compiled the shortlist.

Catherine Phil MacCarthy will launch Carey’s new collection, Racing Down the Sun, at the Limerick City Gallery of Art on Sunday, November 18th, at 2.30pm and Jane Clarke will launch it at the Teachers Club, Dublin, on Friday, November 23rd, from 6pm.

Carey was born in Limerick and lives in Dublin. His first poetry collection Distance was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2016. He has written verse and prose most of his life but only started to write poetry seriously in his sixties while studying for a diploma in creative writing at the Open University. He has been a prize winner and finalist in many international poetry competitions including the Bridport Prize, Lightship International Poetry Prize, Cinnamon Press Poetry Awards, Fish International Poetry Prize, Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Awards, Hugh O’Flaherty Poetry Award, iYeats Poetry Prize and the Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in New Irish Writing, The Irish Times as well as anthologies and magazines. He was awarded Special Commendation in the Patrick Kavanagh Awards 2015 and received a masters degree in creative writing at the University of South Wales.

The Long Path

Once, in Summer, when my father was a bear

And I was a Russian poem to imperfect youth,

The Sun came close to the Earth and we stripped

Down to trousers and wellington-boots to lay

A footpath in the tight garden of The Strand.

My father was young then, full in the wonder

Of manhood, muscle and the loneliness of men.

Unified by the sweat of work, we lightly touched

Some kind of understanding, no more or less.

At midday, Mrs Burke brought a jug of lemonade,

Profoundly cold, with deep-green islands of lime,

Thick and loose in the slob of melting icebergs.

At the hose, we washed away the abrasive dust,

Both our heads prematurely twinned in grey.

‘You’re burnt to a crisp!’ my father said, pointing

To my back. Turning the crucified skin between

My shoulders, I cried out. All that afternoon,

In the chill of Burke’s kitchen, overpowered

By camomile, I listened to the hired mixer beat

Sand and cement to concrete in its iron heart.

a