Book launch at Carlow College, St Patrick's for 'Reading John Ashbery in Costa Coffee, Carlow'

In one poem Mozart and Beethoven drink pints in Tully’s bar

Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett


Carlow Carlow Carlow

Fr Conn Ó Maoldhomhnaigh, College President, Dr Derek Coyle, Author and Peter Murphy, novelist who officially launched the book

The launch of "Reading John Ashbery in Costa Coffee, Carlow’" took place in Carlow College, St Patrick's on Wednesday, April 10. 

The book of original poems by Dr Derek Coyle was officially launched by Peter Murphy, novelist and former artist in residence at the College. 

Referring to the book Peter Murphy said that "in this collection of poems you’ll find poems that I consider blues songs and gospel songs; poems that are the Cain and Abel of poetry, darkness and light".

"The power of any book lies in the questions it generates, and this book left me with plenty," he added. 

Deeply engaged with contemporary reality, these poems constantly surprise, uplift and transform. 

In a nod to time Dr Coyle spent in Sweden this is a dual language book consisting of original poems in English with their Swedish translation set in both Sweden and Carlow. 

Once you open the pages of this intriguing collection, you enter the surreal surroundings of a real and imagined Carlow where in one poem Mozart and Beethoven drink pints in Tully’s bar. 

The collection’s title poem, "Reading John Ashbery in Costa Coffee, Carlow", whilst evoking the humorous presence of James Joyce, Gandhi and John Lennon, ends somewhat surprisingly with a reference to the ongoing Syrian conflict.

While speaking about his new book Dr Coyle mentioned "these poems playfully engage with the possibilities opened up by contemporary physics, especially quantum theory, they are humane in a way that is timeless and challenging".

Dr Derek Coyle is a lecturer English Literature and Creative Writing at Carlow College, St Patrick’s, and is a founding member of the Carlow Writers’ Co-Operative. 

He has published poems in Ireland, Britain, Sweden and the U.S. Dr Coyle has been shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Award and been runner-up in the Bradshaw Prize, he has featured in the Poetry Ireland ‘Poetry Introductions’ series.

He represented Ireland at an international literary residency in Tranås in Sweden, as a guest of Kultivera, and he has featured in the International Poetry Festival in Jönköping.