Rasputin and His Children

Martin Mooney

About the book…

Since his 1993 debut, Grub, Martin Mooney has been one of the most eagerly followed of the younger voices in Irish poetry. Compelling, urgent yet coming to his material with an acute critical intelligence, Mooney's poetry is political in its profoundest sense. Not hectoring, refusing to earn easy moral kudos but deeply engaged in the forces that shape our lives, he shuns the small domestic verities of the traditional Ulster lyric. In particular this collection represents a rigorous exploration of the cultural and political legacies of the northern Protestant dissenting heritage. The reprint of Rasputin and His Children sees Mooney confirming the rich promises of his debut. And more, deepening those achievements to achieve a profound and disturbing public resonance.

Photo of the author, Martin Mooney

About the author…

Martin Mooney was born in Belfast and has worked as a civil servant, creative writing teacher, arts administrator and publican. As well as poetry, he has published short fiction, reviews, critical articles and cultural commentary in Irish and British periodicals.

Mooney has published four collections of poetry. Grub (1993) was shortlisted for the Rooney Prize for Irish literature, and won the 1994 Brendan Behan Memorial Award. Grub was followed by Rasputin and his Children (2000) and Blue Lamp Disco (2003). Mooney's fourth collection, The Resurrection of the Body at Killysuggen, was published in 2011 by Lagan Press.

Sinead Morrisey has written ‘Mooney has the ability to forge a language unique to the subject matter of particular poems … Gritty, disturbing, often uncomfortable, terse, controlled, aggressive, lyrical, ... at his best, [he] extends the boundaries of what is and is not appropriate subject matter for poetry.’

Martin Mooney has collaborated with visual artists on a number of site-specific projects, and with composer Ian Wilson on ‘Near the Western Necropolis’ for mezzo soprano and chamber orchestra. He has also adapted texts by Shakespeare, Sheridan and Ionescu for physical theatre companies in the north of Ireland.

An interest in found poems and poetry in the built environment has found an outlet in collaboration with sculptor Louise Walsh at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital, and in texts inscribed on glazed surfaces in the restored Ulster Hall.

Mooney occasionally blogs at www.killysuggen.wordpress.com and in summer 2011, Mooney was guest poet on Slugger O’Toole.