Tony Curtis (Irish poet)

For other people named Tony Curtis, see Tony Curtis (disambiguation).

Tony Curtis (born 1955) is an Irish poet.[1]

Tony Curtis

Curtis was born in Dublin, and educated at the University of Essex and at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1993 he won the Poetry Ireland/Friends Provident National Poetry Competition.[2] He also works in education under the Skagit River Poetry Project schools programme.[3]


Main Information

The Shifting of Stones This book's publish date is January 1986. There are 65 pages and it was published by Beaver Row Press. The 10 digit ISBN is 0946308411 and the 13 digit ISBN is 9780946308415. This is very rare book and has been out of print for many years.

Behind the Green Door Paperback: 52 pages Publisher: Beaver Row Press (1988) Language: English ISBN 0946308527 ISBN 978-0946308521 This is very rare book and has been out of print for many years.

This Far North Paperback: 74 pages Publisher: Dedalus Pr (1 January 1994) Language: English ISBN 1873790627 ISBN 978-1873790625

This work gathers together poems that have been widely published in Ireland and else-where and includes the prize-winning poem and widely noted sequence of poems, "From a Famine Journal".

Three Songs of Home Paperback: 70 pages Publisher: Dedalus Pr (March 1999) Language: English ISBN 1901233146 ISBN 978-1901233148

Tony Curtis writes, even on complex matters, with disarming ease. In this new collection he has pared his work down to the bone, achieving, in many of these poems, the strength and mystery of myth and fable. The poet journeys into the high Himalayas where he faces his own mortality. What he brings back is a book haunted by ghosts and demons, by illusions, dreams, memories, and desires, in other words a richly experienced and carefully shared wisdom, offered in an immediate yet subtle series of poems.

As one reviewer on stated. “All i can say about this book is WOW. It's absolutely amazing how the author collected so many poems and put them in a book and made them so incredibly wonderful to read through. This is for anyone who cares anything about poetry. Get this book and even if you dislike poetry, I'm sure you'll love it after reading this book.”

What Darkness Covers Paperback: 88 pages Publisher: Arc Publications (23 June 2003) Language: English ISBN 190007253X ISBN 978-1900072533

Review "Tony Curtis makes beautiful poems – compassionate, funny, elegiac. He's a song master, a riddler, a humdinger. He honours Samuel Beckett and his Granny with equal gusto. His Black Hills of Balrothery are as far reaching as the Himalayas and he see great distances from the peaks of both. But he is also a poker under rocks and a hoker in hedgerows; he finds a universe in a grain of sand. He is unique in contemporary Irish poetry, foraging and forging the uncreated, breaking all our hears." Paula Meehan"

Description Includes strange resonances which emerge from the Irish landscape and way of life, and the poet's insight into a poet's existence.

The Book of Winter Cures Paperback: 96 pages Publisher: Black Hills Press 2002 Language: English ISBN 190007253X ISBN 978-1900072533

Published exclusively to coincide with his recent tour of Australia, (funded by the Irish Arts Council), Tony Curtis’s The Book of Winter Cures is a soft gem of mood and cadence. This new and selected is taken from Curtis’s four previous collections, not readily available to Australian readers. This is therefore a rare opportunity to sample one of Ireland’s most popular poets. Throughout the dominant themes and concerns of these poems, with their evocative sense of Ireland’s landscapes, is a recurrent mood of hope and optimism. Curtis frequently places himself in history, not only in a broader political context, but with a more personal ambivalence towards Ireland itself. There are poems exploring a sense of abandonment and reconciliation with a past that will not be buried. Like compatriots Seamus Heaney and Ciaran Carson, Curtis examines political issues through the window of the personal. Many poems draw the link between history and the present, where the spectres of the past are still active. And I can feel a ghost growing inside me. (p. 51) There is a very Irish sensibility at work here. The language comes alive under the lilt of accent as much as Beckett’s does, whom Curtis admires. There is an astute ear for the rhythms of speech. Interestingly Curtis has adapted Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman for the stage. Within the wit and irony there is also a Catholic sense of perception and gratitude, particularly towards landscape and human relationships. The range of Curtis’s interests is reflected in the accomplished variety of formal structures that allow language both the freedom and precision to move within the confines of their form. One of the most ambitious poems ‘Small Interior’, is a series of ten prose poems in the form of postcards that cover most of the predominant themes. There is deference to other poets and artists, as well as a spiritual awareness grounded in the corporeal. Curtis makes his gentle observations with an assurance that the light of art will reveal fresh insights, as with this example of a painter’s model: I look like a woman// Taking a bath without water. A saint burning without flames. A bird opening its wings. (p. 82)

Tony Curtis has visited Australia before and this selection contains several poems detailing Australian experiences through the eyes of the outsider. They also reveal a familiarity with Australian poetry. His language is gentle and accessible; humorous and always engaging in the way it appeals to the senses and the emotions. Much to be learned from what, given its Australian rarity, could well be a collector’s item.

The Well in the Rain: "The Well in the Rain", Tony Curtis's second book from Arc, brings together work from his six previous books. Bicycles, famine, ghosts, grannies, Tibetan Buddhists, Beckettian sighs and Lucian Freud's nudes are all revealed with a rare, and loving, simplicity. His award-winning poetry has always been characterised by its compassion and humour: full of gods but empty of forgiveness. In a closing selection of new poems, gathered here as "Tossing the Feathers", Curtis's wit and heartache surface in a long poem "The Well in the Rain", that faces the loss of his father. This is life-giving, life-affirming poetry, full of loss, love and longing

When Sometimes all I can Imagine are Hands There is a winter within me, a place so cold, so covered in snow, I rarely go there. But sometimes, when all I can imagine are hands, when trees in the forest look like they’re made of wood, then I know it’s time to take my photograph of Akhmatova and sling it in a bag with socks and scarves. My neighbours must think it strange to see me strapping on my snowshoes, to hear me roar at the huskies as I untangle the harness. But when all you can imagine are hands it’s best to give a little wave and move out into the whiteness. “Underpinning the lyrical narrative is a writing style as graceful as the author’s thought.” Poetry Ireland Review Days Like These (with Theo Dorgan & Paula Meehan) was published by Brooding Heron Press in Washington State; a fine art edition, editing and design by Sam and Sally Green. Limited edition of 300 copies. Fine in stitched wrappers and printed letterpress.


The poems in Tony Curtis’s new collection are woven out of his fascination with the everyday, the quirky, and the downright extraordinary.

These are poems wrapped up in love and death, friendship and memory, madness and music – from the blind man singing in a field, to his three Cistercian uncles singing plainchant. There are people at the heart of everything he writes. Curtis is a born storyteller, and these are poems crafted by a poet with a wonderful ability to express great depth of feeling with deceptive simplicity.

“Curtis lives on the borderline between our world and the world of the Spirits.” The Irish Times

"His humour and charm, and ability to turn a poem with the seemingly simplest of images, and that understanding of how words will play over the listener's ear, are hallmarks which are pleasingly brought to the fore on the page in this hefty new collection. His greatest skill is to make readers go "yes, of course"; he reminds us of what we've known all along though perhaps not recognised, and reading his poems is therefore an uplifting experience." The Warwick Review

An Elephant Called Rex An Elephant Called Rex with poems by Tony Curtis and illustrations by the designer Pat Mooney is an exciting and fun poetry book for children of all ages. This book has its own website,

Sand Works 45 photographs with haiku by poet Tony Curtis and introduction by Richard Nairn. Published 2011 A collection of photographs from the beaches of Brittas Bay, Magherabeg and Magheramore County Wicklow. "At certain times, such as after high winds and tides,the sands on the beach are shaped into beautiful abstract formations,the lack of scale giving the feeling that they could be pictures of the Earth from space, or of other planets. They are in most cases a square or two of sand at my feet." Liam Blake.

Aran Currach 45 photographs with haiku by poet Tony Curtis. Afterword by Anne Brown.

Pony Tony Curtis's brilliantly original, beautiful and unpredictable poetry fill this book with David Lilburn's visual wonderful response. Pony published by Occasional Press in collaboration with Ballynahinch Castle, 2013, limited edition 130 hardback copies.


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