The Resurrection of the Body at Killysuggen

Martin Mooney

About the book…

try not to use your tongue 
to investigate 
the buds and folds of flesh 
at its own root’
­ ’Poem'

In some ways Martin Mooney’s most personal collection so far, The Resurrection of the Body at Killysuggen sees the poet exploring the fear of death, sexual jealousy, political atrophy and artistic disappointment.

Written with his typical concern for craft and firmly rooted in the colloquial, Mooney’s poems are intensely engaged with art and mortality, the thwarted or misdirected ambition of the writer, the obsessive creativity of the outsider artist, and the inevitable falling short of any artistic project.

Yet this collection also celebrates an apparently unjustifiable ‘optimism of the will’ and a resigned determination in the face of the disappointments of love, art and the body. Nothing is written off or ruled out and in the course of ordinary failures extraordinary things can sometimes be achieved.


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.