A POEM by local writer Edward O’Dwyer has been picked to appear in a top anthology.
Corbally poet Edward has been highly commended by the Forward Prizes for Poetry, and as a result of this, his piece, ‘Just by Chance’ will be published in the next Forward Book of Poetry.
The poem, which focuses on a romantic encounter on the banks of the Shannon, was picked for publication after Salmon Poetry submitted a manuscript of his debut collection ‘The Rain on Cruises Street’ to judges.
Edward admitted he was in shock for several days after he was told he was commended by an awards scheme which has previously honoured Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy.
“I could not really process it: it is one of the most sought after poetry awards out there. When the anthology is published, I will be published among some of the best known poets there are. It opens me up to a much bigger audience than what I normally would reach,” he said.
Of his poem Just by Chance - which was previously shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award - he said: “One of the things I like about this one is because it is based in Limerick. It is not just my work being represented, it is also Limerick, and this is important for me.”
One of the poems in ‘The Rain on Cruises Street’ is Ruby, republished in full below.
Poet Eileen Sheehan officially launched Edward’s book at the Strand Hotel.
Today is Ruby’s tenth birthday.
With that, I know her life, starting now,
is bonus time. A gift to her
but more to us.
Deaf now, she seems to know
her bark is in its best ever working order.
She continues the inexplicable task
she’s been at for years
of collecting stones from the river
in that spot by the bridge near the house
where the kids fish for perch.
She’s still doing everything she can
to get at the chicken on the kitchen table.
She has always done that,
run on a bit ahead, looked back then
to make sure I was following;
that I hadn’t slipped my leash;
that I hadn’t stopped to sniff any humans;
that I’m not lifting a leg to the wheel of a car.
She has a soul, Ruby,
I don’t have any doubts about it.
Not yet, thank God,
but there will be a special ball
rolling through Heaven someday
that she’ll chase happily for eternity.