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SHORTLISTED FOR GRADAM UÍ SHUILLEABHÁIN: BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2011
October 1999 saw the death of the poet Learaí Phádraic Learaí Ó Fínneadha, from an Lochán Beag in Cois Fharraige originally, but who had moved closer to Galway city, to Bearna, when he married. Now, more than ten years on, this book, Sé an Saol an Máistir: Filíocht Learaí Phádraic Learaí Uí Fhínneadha, edited by Gearóid Denvir, encompasses Learaí's entire poetic work.
Learaí's public poetry deals with a wide variety of themes: such matters as a controversial housing development in Bearna, local and national politics, and the occasional scandal; but he also had a more introspective side: matters spiritual and religious meant a great deal to him, and these private and more personal poems are infused with a very tangible sense of place and history.
The collection has been edited by Gearóid Denvir. Explanatory notes accompany each poem, and a large critical essay is appended, which sits Learaí's poetry in a larger context concerning oral poetry and culture globally, comparing it to similar traditions in South Africa and South America for example.
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