Outer Space: Selected Poems
In 2001, Poetry Review remarked on '[t]he impressive gravitas and beauty' of his poetry, which 'leave one hoping that it won't be a long wait before McCabe's first book is out.' In The New Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2004) editor Selina Guinness echoed the sentiment: 'The complexity of his verse forms is matched by an emotional maturity... and the acrobatic poise of his work promises great things for his first collection.' Awarding McCabe The Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for Poetry at the Poetry Now festival (PN04), John McAuliffe remarked on the poems' unusually wide range of reference and McCabe's 'mastery of form'.
Widely published over the years in magazines and anthologies (most recently in Penguin Ireland's Windharp: Poems of Ireland since 1916), his poems are now finally brought together in a generous selection spanning the last twenty years or more. Outer Space: Selected Poems marks the end of Cathal McCabe's long 'underground reputation' (Dennis O'Driscoll) and makes available to a wider audience his award-winning verse in a landmark publication by Metre Editions.
Cathal McCabe was born in County Down, Northern Ireland in 1963, and grew up there, in Warrenpoint. Educated at St Colman’s College, Newry, and at the universities of York and Oxford, he lived in Poland for fifteen years where he lectured at the University of Łódź and worked as Literature Consultant with The British Council in Warsaw. From 2003 until 2009 he was Director of the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin. Winner of the 2004 Strong Award for Poetry, he was shortlisted for the 2010 Hennessy XO Literary Award in the category Best Emerging Poet. With Founding Patron Seamus Heaney, he established The Ireland-Poland Cultural Foundation (which he continues to direct) and, with Heaney, was awarded (in 2010) the Polish government’s prestigious Gloria Artis medal for outstanding services to Polish culture. He lives with his family near Rostrevor, County Down.