Suntrap (2007)


‘The suntrap in the title poem of Catherine Phil MacCarthy’s long-awaited third collection is a magnifying glass through which a young girl is shown for the first time ‘how to burn’.

The lens highlights MacCarthy’s preoccupation with the act of seeing, and the tension between the quest for illumination and the act of discovery.

Pervaded with the light of things caught and held, MacCarthy’s finely crafted poems are perceptive and assured, moving deftly from the Aran Islands in Ireland’s Galway Bay to Africa, from childhood to womanhood, and from innocence to experience.’ (Blackstaff Press)

‘MacCarthy is adept at using imagery to bring into conjunction different times and places, different perspectives and modes of consciousness, so the poems move apparently easily through history, myth, personal memory, the ordinary day.’ (Aileen Kelly)

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Book covers

Suntrap (2007)Suntrap (2007)

Cover image: Automatic Shift by Allen Jones.

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Where to buy

Suntrap can be purchased from the following online sources (links open in a new window):

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The Irish Times

‘It is as love poet that Catherine Phil MacCarthy triumphs. From This House of the Tide, published 13 years ago, to the present collection, she has been a powerful, chthonic observer of love in all its forms… Here is a poet who becomes stronger with each new collection, a poet who understands that furnace of love while longing for late winter ice to hold firm along the Shannon.’

— Thomas McCarthy, The Irish Times

To read more of this review, follow this link to the Reviews page.

Books Ireland

‘Discovery then is one theme: another is passion, both in the sense of having a passion to investigate the nature of things, and in the more carnal sense of sexual passion…’

— Hugh McFadden, Books Ireland

Poetry Ireland Review

‘These are poems of contrasts: youth and age, light and dark, the wild and the tame. MacCarthy seems constantly aware of the feral layer that lies beneath the skin… Reading these poems, it strikes me that MacCarthy is a Romantic poet in the original sense; for her, landscape and nature provide a nurse to the imagination and the soul. She paints that landscape with exquisite skill.’

— Nessa O’Mahony, Poetry Ireland Review, 96, 2008


‘The tone is calm, but still trembles minutely with the frisson of a sensual pleasure remembered.’


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