Maggie O'Farrell is one of my Spanish partner's favourite novelists, but she's also an exceptional poet. I'm using the present tense here for her verse, as there's no evidence to the contrary.
I first mentioned Maggie O'Farrell's poems on Rogue Strands back in 2009, praising them as follows:
"...they're visually explosive, musical and carry a strong narrative drive. Most of all, their voice is distinctive..."
O'Farrell hasn't published any new verse for well over a decade and has never brought out a collection. Her work appeared in journals and won prizes such as the Tabla 1996 competition with "My grandmother accepts", which I quoted a couple of days ago. That poem, for example, seems even better in the context of its having been written before her twenty-fifth birthday.
Has she carried on writing verse in between her ecellent novels? If so, she could still emerge as a major poet.
The prizes tend to go to books about grief, or dystopias. Or oppression. Or sexual abuse, or any kind of sexual dysfunction. ‘Light verse’ – about as disp...