Selected Poems (1968) – W.H Auden
Reading my father’s copy of Auden’s Selected Poems in my teens was one of my first experiences of discovering poetry for myself, outside of school. It contains some of his classics – Lullaby and Musée des Beaux-Arts.
Letters Home – Sylvia Plath
Not strictly a poetry book, but Plath’s letters to her mother, provide amazing insight into the life of the poet as well as a context for many of her poems.
Wintering Out – Seamus Heaney
Of all Heaney’s books, Wintering Out has a special place on my bookshelf. I have a signed copy bought at a reading in a small arts center way back in 1984. Like all his work, the poems are distinctive in their musicality and striking clarity of language.
Give Me your Hand – Paul Durcan
I love art and love ekphrastic poetry and these poems were inspired by paintings in the National Gallery in London. Sometimes Durcan might take the image quite literally, or else transform it in time and place without ever losing the essence of the painting.
The Forward book of Poetry 2020
I bought this year’s edition for inspiration! A fantastically varied collection it covers so many themes, styles and approaches to writing. As well as providing an overview of the contemporary poetry scene, it is a pleasure to dip in and find new and exciting voices.
Eileen Farrelly lives in Scotland and has written poetry, intermittently for most of her adult life. Her poems have most recently appeared, The Gladrag, Marble and The Writers Café Magazine. She is also a musician and songwriter and can be found singing for beer in pubs around Glasgow.