The Sound of the Shuttle is an eloquent and compelling selection of essays written over four decades by Belfast-born poet Gerald Dawe, exploring the difficult and at times neglected territory of cultural belonging and northern Protestantism. The title, taken from a letter of John Keats during a journey through the north-east in 1818, evokes the lives, now erased from history, of the thousands of workers in the linen industry, tobacco factories and shipyards of Belfast.
Sketching in literary, social and political contexts to widen the frame of reference, Dawe offers fascinating insights into the current debate about a ‘New Ireland’ by bringing into critical focus the experiences, beliefs and achievements of a sometimes maligned and often misread community, generally referred to as Northern protestants.
In making the telling point that ‘The jagged edges of the violent past are still locked within ideological vices’, The Sound of the Shuttle is an insightful and honest report based upon many years of creative and critical practice. This is an essential book for our changing times.
Gerald Dawe, pictured right with fellow poets at the Clifden Arts FEstival in Connemara, is Professor of English and Fellow Emeritus, Trinity College Dublin. He has published ten books of poetry including The Lundy’s Letter, Sunday School, Lake Geneva, Points West, Mickey Finn’s Air and The Last Peacock. Awarded the Macaulay Fellowship for Literature, his other publications include In Another World: Belfast and Van Morrison, and The Wrong Country: Essays on Modern Irish Writing. Picture by Bill Heaney
Hardback • €18.95 / £16.99 • 200 pages • 215 mm x 140 mm • 9781788551069