This first collection by a young prize-winning poet is well-named: Photons sheds fresh light on a wide spectrum of human experience in verses of striking originality and technical assurance that look back to John Donne and his contemporaries, and engage with the spirits of Modernism. The volume includes a fine translation of a Canto from Inferno that renders Dante’s bleak, dramatic vision alive in contemporary English that remains true to the spirit and form of the original Italian. In all, Photons fulfils the Romantic ambition for poetry to illuminate the ordinary and celebrate the wonder of the everyday.
Peter Donnelly was born in Dublin in 1988. He graduated with a BA International and an MA in English from University College, Dublin, concentrating on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake in the case of the latter. In 2010 he began to publish poetry in journals across Ireland and within UCD, where he won the Undergraduate Poetry Award; his work has been said to create worlds in which “the familiar and the alien have been seamlessly fused together” by the 2013 University Observer’s Arts Editor Steven Balbirnie. This is his début collection.