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The Essential Guide to Flight / Celeste Augé

The Essential Guide to Flight

By: Celeste Augé

€12.00 €6.00
A strong first collection from a poet whose clear eye and cool voice combine in poems of clarity, intelligence and occasional startling beauty. Mary O'Malley The poems in The Essential Guide to Flight take multiple points of view: they journey through life, through relationships, across borde...
ISBN 978-1-907056-05-5
Pub Date Friday, May 01, 2009
Cover Image Philip Lindey
Page Count 84
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A strong first collection from a poet whose clear eye and cool voice combine in poems of clarity, intelligence and occasional startling beauty.

Mary O'Malley

The poems in The Essential Guide to Flight take multiple points of view: they journey through life, through relationships, across borders and oceans, through emotional landscapes; giving glimpses of our hidden lives, the invisible desires and trials that make up a life. They delve into the experience of the immigrant and the cultural outsider. From the opening poem The Borrower, to Fireproof, the poem that closes the collection, these poems examine the myths we invent, myths we have to live up to, and the way we mythologize people, places, and our past.

Celeste Augé

Celeste Augé is the author of The Essential Guide to Flight (Salmon Poetry, 2009) and the collection of short stories Fireproof and Other Stories (Doire Press, 2012). The World Literature Review has said: ‘Celeste Augé’s poems are commendable for their care, deep thought, and intellectual ambition.’
She works in the area of adult education, teaching creative writing to undergraduates at NUI Galway as well as tutoring with a local Adult Learning Centre.
Celeste has a Masters degree in writing from NUI Galway. Her poetry has been short-listed for a Hennessy Award, and she received a Literature Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to write Skip Diving. In 2011, she won the Cúirt New Writing Prize for fiction. She lives in Connemara, in the West of Ireland, with her husband and son. 

I Dream In Solid Pine

The bed divides us. We take sides,
mine piled book-high with
balms, night creams, a clock.
His with books, a light, a digital clock.

We meet lustily in the middle,
then sated, roll back where we
came from. No place for sound
words between the posts.

The bed is solid, framed in pine.
It passed the shake test
the day we bought it, tired
as always, in a hurry.

The third bed in our history -
also the longest drop to the floor.
Reviewed by Grace Wells for The Stinging Fly, Winter 2009-2010

... At the age of thirteen Augé moved to Ireland. Severed from Canada, from French, she struggled. Her poems are a long, drawn-out grief for 'the music of the rooms I have lived in before', a grief for home and home within language. Her severance from French was so severe Augé doesn't employ a single word of it, while the banishment of a native tongue means Augé's poetic voice falters. Despite these difficulties, Augé's need to bring the world home to roost through language, drips from every page. Highlights are an excellent prose poem 'Finding Galway, circa 1985,' and one of the best sestinas around, 'Blame It on Breakfast', which turns deliciously on the words, naked, space, emptiness, in, night and kiss.

Overall The Essential Guide to Flight is full of the traces of a fine poet in the making, although Augé's present merit is more often in single lines, rather than whole poems. Salmon have done a brave thing in publishing this work, an act which will hopefully give Augé the confidence to gain better purchase within the English language and finally answer her question, 'When should I start calling this home?'

Other Titles from Celeste Augé

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