To read The Juno Charm is to encounter a writer who is modern, white, female and Irish, whose work both charms and challenges. Nuala Ní Chonchúir reveals herself yet again as a witty and energetic purveyor of the happiness and pleasure that lie on the far side of the wall of common experience, and that are to be discovered simply by following the natural path to our most physical and erotic selves. The reader encounters a passionate, observing citizen of Ireland, who is witness to the changing face of her home country. She also observes the world beyond the island, as lover, parent, and – significantly – as a committed artist exploring territories created by other artists. The result is something of a force in full spate, enriched with the poetics of self-discovery and of an experience that is Blakesean, and well beyond innocence.
In the tapestry that is The Juno Charm, Nuala explores the worlds of two marriages – one waning, one waxing – and the pain of pregnancy loss and fertility struggles. This is an intimate book where the reader is taken by the emotional resonance of the poems, as much as by the exploration of the use of amulets and charms.
The poems travel comfortably from County Galway – as in the wry ‘Frida Kahlo Visits Ballinasloe’ – to Manhattan’s skyscrapers; and from the Seine in Paris to Dublin’s Liberty Hall.
Nuala employs her signature sensual frankness in poems of love and the body (‘I am the pomegranate / and you, the peacock // My seedy, red-pulped core / glistens with juice, / awaits your entrance’).
Sometimes irreverent, always vivid, this is poetry ripe with imaginative possibility and wit.
Nuala will be taking in a seven blog virtual tour, which will take place over seven successive Thursdays. Please join her and the hosts for poetry and chat at each stop along the way. Here are the dates and venues:
10th November: Órfhlaith Foyle's Blog
17th November: Vanessa Gebbie's Blog
in Sussex, UK
24th November: Niamh Boyce's Blog
1st December: Rachel Fenton's Blog
in Auckland, NZ
8th December: Tania Hershman's Blog
in Bristol, UK
15th December: Mel Ulm's Blog
in the Philippines
22nd December: Parrish Lantern Blog
in Kent, UK
The Juno Charm
is available from Salmon Poetry