MadHat Press

Go There by Aidan Rooney

Aidan Rooney’s first books of poems, Day Release and Tightrope, both published in Ireland, established him as one of the important Irish poets of his generation. Go There is his first collection to be published in the United States, and its richly reflexive play and formal inventiveness signal the further journeys, historical passages, and border crossings of the poems within. What distinguishes Rooney from his contemporaries is not just his emigrant status outside the European Community but the ranginess of his movement across boundaries—geographical, personal, communal, artistic, and linguistic. Ireland, France, Switzerland, Nova Scotia, Haiti, and Boston form backdrops for poems in implicit dialogue with voices elsewhere, colonised and coloniser. With concerns quotidian and universal, poems of ekphrasis, fables, elegies and love letters join ruminations on war and religion, love and death, wealth and poverty. Go There has poems for everyone everywhere.

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“Aidan Rooney brings a generous, forensic eye to matters of childhood and memory, as well as to the larger canvases of the natural world, travel and history. Written in gloriously sinewy language, the poems in Go There are intelligent, tender, sensuous, poignant and intricate. This is a joy of a book.”

—Nuala O’Connor, author of Miss Emily

“‘Deliciously shape-shifty,’ in his own words, Aidan Rooney is a poet whose work marries wit, far-flung trajectories, and vivid sensations. Go There offers evocations of Ireland, France, and Haiti; of Degas and St. Ciaran; of childhood memories and history; elegant translations of Baudelaire and La Fontaine; and there’s more. The mercurial variety of this collection is unified and grounded by Rooney’s unerring feel for the power of poetry to capture and distill our restless lives, line by rich and compact line.”

—Rachel Hadas


Go There
by Aidan Rooney

$21.95, paperback, 120pp
ISBN-13:  978-1-941196-97-7


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