Review: Evidence of Freewheeling by Trevor Conway reviewed by Kevin Higgins for The Galway Advertiser, Thurs 7th January, 2016
The fantastically titled Evidence of Freewheeling (Salmon Publishing) is Trevor Conway ’s much anticipated debut poetry collection. Reading it, the first thing that struck me was many of Conway’s poems have a surface impersonality of which TS Eliot would approve. He is certainly not a this-is-what-happened-to-me-last-week type of poet. Several poems are observations of a somewhat philosophical variety. In ‘Inspired’ he tells us “I have no great theory,/Just words,/Like an old friend/Returning in new clothes.” ‘Trimester’ is a rigorous time bomb of a poem which makes the reader face some of the most difficult questions going. An embryo speaks from the womb: “All I know is darkness,/Starved of any sight/ take the blood of another”. Conway’s un-sentimentality makes this not-yet-born being sound almost like a vampire. But the rougher questions emerge later in the poem: “I could lead a country,/Or save a stranger’s life./I could be your lover./I could even rape your wife.” Some poets are content to feed the chattering classes nice sounding morsels, the intellectual equivalent of comfort food; in contrast Conway is a big poet. Long may he continue to quietly disturb the peace.