Cover photo by Kelly Sullivan.

These are big, ambitious, sometimes sprawling poems, rich in narrative and in detail, an autobiography of sorts, where the voyaging soul is concerned to find home and meaning in a dialogue between self and other. Like Saint Brendan, the author seems to understand that if home is where you set out from, home is also where you hope to find journey’s end. Yet, if the title poem draws on the mythological, these poems are surely rooted in our century of migration and displacement, where identities are negotiated as much as given. It is the candid engagement with the difficult choices and trade-offs made in a search for some omphalos, some centre, in an ever more shifting world, which energises this collection.

-Moya Cannon and Theo Dorgan, judges' citation, The Patrick Kavanagh Awards, 2008


These poems are alive to travel and displacement, but not only that: they are alive to the inner lives of places. While this book evolves across two continents, its author is more interested in the local than the global. Whether looking for traces of the Irish Diaspora in Spain, observing Latin American buskers on the Madrid Metro, or crossing Iowa by train to the “only blue county in Kansas” on the day of Obama’s election, David McLoghlin unites sharp “eye work”, in rich and telling details, with what Rilke called “heart work”, in a series of clear and powerful images.

-Ed Skoog, author of Run The Red Lights (Copper Canyon Press)


There is a great cohesion to the poems in this collection; their power accrues the deeper into the book a reader goes. Focusing on memory, place, dislocation, and identity, these central concerns shift, revise, and alter just as memories do themselves, where not only the speaker but a whole "country had slipped its moorings/ and was navigating into a different time zone" ("Climbing Mount Eagle")... In the end, both speaker and reader cover much ground in this fine first collection. 

-Suzanne Parker in Mead: The Magazine of Literature and Libations