Downpatrick Races


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Downpatrick Races (Belfast 2000) is Northern Ireland poet Damian Smyth's debut collection. Around the central image of the racecourse gather Magnus Barelegs, the last Norseman; the Normans, George Best, the British Army, boxers Joe Louis and Rinty Monaghan, the boozy wizard Bamboozelum, the mighty steeplechaser Arkle; and individuals, recollected or imagined, who people the lore of the poet's home in Northern Ireland.

‘Poems about family tease out sentiment without blowing its late-night sax, side-stepping the over-familiar and selecting poignant details such as his mother’s fondness for dreaming through clothes catalogues’ – Poetry London

‘a violent history … coexists alongside affectionate memories of individuals and shared values’ – Poetry Salzburg Review

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