Catalan Butterflies is a collection of poems inspired by Laurence O’Dwyer’s journeys over the Pyrenees. A chance encounter with a butterfly expert who describes himself as an anarchist lepidopterist provides the initial spark for a series of portraits of humans and butterflies that inhabit a shadowy province of the earth.
These trails lead in turn to stories from the Spanish Civil War which are distilled under pressure to create an album of Civil War Butterflies before we return to a balmy summer night in Barcelona at the beginning of the 21st century.
Listen below to a selection of the poems which have been set to music by musicians from Ireland, Poland and Slovakia.
Atalanta, Vanessa atalanta (Linnaeus, 1758) CLICK HERE
Marca metallica prema, Alessa prema (Godart, 1824) CLICK HERE
Blanca de l'arç, Aporia crataegi (Linnaeus, 1758) CLICK HERE
Arlequí, Zerynthia rumina (Linnaeus, 1758) CLICK HERE
You can also listen to the hinterland of some of these stories on this portrait of Laurence’s journeys in the Pyrenees which was made by Zoë Comyns for BBC Radio:
Laurence O’Dwyer’s first poetry collection, Tractography (Templar, 2018), received the Patrick Kavanagh Award. His second poetry collection, The Lighthouse Journal (Templar, 2020), received a Van Cleef & Arpels Special Fellowship in Poetry from the Bogliasco Foundation and was adapted into an interactive book for Google Play by Macalaus Studios (Netherlands). He has also received the Ireland Chair of Poetry Project Award for the film script, Great Refractor, which was directed by Andy Graydon. Other distinctions include the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship and a Hennessy New Irish Writing Award.
“Laurence O’Dwyer is one of a rare few who go to find, in thought and foreign countries, how the future might work in poetry.”
Brian Lynch, poet and novelist, member of Aosdána