Review: Hurting God

The new Rita Ann Higgins book published by Salmonpoetry, Hurting God, has caused a major controversy when on foot of complaints from people who were included or their parents were included in the text objected to those references and Salmon took the unusual step of withdrawing the initial print run of about 900 copies and destroyed them.

So now we have the reprinted version to read and review and readers will be left to speculate and wonder just who was hurt by this event. Rita Ann has a reputation as a poet who tells it like it is or was, hard earned by inspiration and readings all over the country and recently worldwide.

She has come a long way from those seminal trips on the Mervue Bus and her humourous honesty has always shone out fierce and bright. She has been feted and championed by the plain people of Galway and further afield and now some would say she is the darling of the academic classes and the chattering literary classes.

To read Hurting God is still a great experience and a sharing of a poet on a journey of discovery and this slim volume part easy part rhyme is a fine addition to her work.

The title prose passage is an uncomfortable look at family and hardship while striving to be in the state of grace and not to hurt God. The prose leads in like conversational gatherings of words and images before the worked on, condensed poem emerges. You could see the prose as the poem taking shape.

I love the imagery in these pieces of a thread from Saint Martin’s underpants…free Turkish Delight…find the time to scratch themselves…cancer was feared as much as the banshee.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story or subscribe to our PDF version.

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