Selected Poems

Mairtin Crawford

About the book…

Love, violence, distant galaxies, West Belfast: whatever the subject,

Mairtin wrote as he lived, with a combination of intelligence and daring, revolutionary spirit and generosity of heart. Every poem here is suffused with his unique vision, fiercely tender and unafraid. To quote American poet, Theodore Roethke, ‘What we need is more people who specialise in the impossible’. This collection is the work of one such person. —Moyra Donaldson

Before his unexpected early death in early 2004, Mairtin Crawford was a well-established figure on the northern poetry scene, as poet arts editor and supporter of diverse literary endeavours.

Widely published in local magazines, Mairtin was working on a debut collection at the time of his death. Selected Poems, edited by close personal and literary associate Naomi Foyle, gathers together poems from that embryonic collection, earlier published poems and previously unpublished poems from Crawford’s notebooks.

While not the book originally envisaged, Selected Poems demonstrates Crawford’s strength as a poet: a willingness t experiment, a sensibility firmly rooted in the cultural and artistic legacies of the American ‘Beat’ generation, a fierce commitment t the value of poetry as a form of communication, a willingness to be brutally honest about both himself and others.

It shows a poet slowly coming into his own voice

Photo of the author, Mairtin Crawford

About the author…

Mairtin Crawford was born in Belfast in 1967. Educated at Rathmore Grammar School and Queen’s University Belfast, gaining an MA in Irish Writing, he co-founded and edited the Big Spoon literary magazine in the 1990s, was the production and arts editor of Fortnight magazine was a creative writing tutor, most prominently at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast and was appointed Director of the Between the Lines arts festival based at the venue.

A full time professional writer, he work spanned all aspects – journalism, screen-writing, criticism, editing, teaching, reading and film making. In the early 1990s he was a central figure in the influential group of poets gather around Giro’s Poetry Collective.

Always fascinated by the idea of America, he travelled frequently to the United States and forged a lasting friendship with the legendary Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg. He brought Ginsberg to Belfast in 1993 for two reading events.

His last project was a film on the Belfast poet Padraic Fiacc, Storm Bird, which premiered at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in May 2003.

Martin Crawford died suddenly in 2004.