Chalk Dust by Noel Monahan



Chalk Dust New Poems from Salmon by Noel Monahan, Poet and Playwright



This new collection by award winning poet, Noel Monahan searches for identity and belonging in the constantly shifting shadows of mondern Ireland.  The sonnet section seeks some spiritual uplift out of the darkness and poems written in Irish, with English translations further a quest for meaning.  "Chalk Dust", the stunning title poem, protrays an Irish Catholic boarding school where sons of strong farmers and rural shopkeepers are placed in the ivory hands of priests to be educated.  This long prose poem is episodic and follows the calendar of a school year where trapped male energy erupts under the strains of collective living and time alone allows the Chalk Dust to settle.




About Noel Monahan

Noel Monahan has published seven collections of poetry. His literary awards include: The SeaCat National Award organised by Poetry Ireland, The Hiberno-English Poetry Award, The Irish Writers’ Union Poetry Award, The William Allingham Poetry Award and The Kilkenny Poetry Prize for Poetry. In 2001 he won The PJ O’Connor RTE Radio Drama Award for his play Broken Cups and in 2002 he was awarded The A.S.T.I. Achievements Award for his contribution to literature at home and abroad. In 2012 Noel received an Arts & Entertainment Award from Northern Sound Radio. His work has been translated into Italian, French, Romanian and Russian. His most recent plays include: The Children of Lir performed by Livin’ Dred Theatre and Lovely Husbands, a drama based on Henry James’ work and performed at the inaugural Henry James Literary Festival, 2010. His poetry was prescribed text for the Leaving Certificate English Course 2011 and 2012. His seventh collection of poetry: Cellui Qui Porte Un Veau a French translation of his work was published by Allidades, France in October 2014. Noel Monahan is co-editor of Windows Publications and he holds an M.A. in Creative Writing.

Noel Monahan's work has also appeared in The Irish Times, The Sunday Tribune, Books Ireland, Poetry Australia, Paterson Literary Review, USA and many more outlets. He is co-editor of Windows Publications and has published five Authors & Artists Introduction Series. Since the beginning of 1997, he has been consultant editor of W.P. Literature & Arts journal. His plays include Half A Vegetable, a dramatic presentation of Patrick Kavanagh's poetry, A Proverbial Wet Summer, and Feathers of Time.
He has read his work at numerous summer schools and poetry festivals throughout Ireland. His poetry has appeared in many anthologies, most recently Awakenings, a text for the new Leaving Certificate English curriculum. He is the recent winner of the Poetry Ireland/Seacat National Poetry Award with a first prize of £5,000. Noel's poem "The Funeral Game" was chosen as the overall winner, out of 2,500 poems, by renowned judges, Michael Longley, Cathal O Searcaigh and Eavan Boland. In 2002 he received the A.S.T.I. Achievements Award for his contribution to literature in Ireland and abroad.
All of his poetry collections have earned him much critical acclaim especially his 2001 publication Curse of the Birds that evokes a world of myth and dark energies. In speaking for the voiceless in often bleak environments, and dealing with topics such as loneliness and uncertainty, yet always compassionate about their fate, he emerges as having a unique voice. Speaking of a previous collection, Snowfire, no less a critic than John Montague has praised him for colonising the ground once ploughed by his predecessors, most notably Patrick Kavanagh in transforming his everyday surroundings by his poetic vision.


20 Apr 2018


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