The Potter's Book by Louis Mulcahy

Our writers give voice to what it means to be Irish in a changing Ireland.

Stacks Image 16981
Cart €0.00


In evoking his fascinating story, his words have the elegance of his pots, and his poems the uncanny sheen of their glazes.

— James Harper

2018 / 80 pages / €12
ISBN: 978-1-907682-64-3
Cover photo: Richard Johnston

(click to view cover)

The Potter\'s Book

The Potter's Book

By Louis Mulcahy

Stacks Image 13473
LOUIS MULCAHY, ceramic sculptor and potter, has three collections of poetry, one in Irish and two in English (An Sagart Publications, 2012, 2014, 2015). He has been shortlisted for many competitions, including the Listowel Collection Prize and the Listowel Individual Poem Prize and in 2016 he won the Munster Literature mentorship competition. Louis founded the bilingual poetry festival An Féile Bheag Filíochta in 2007 and was its Artistic Director until he retired in 2014. In 2004 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his artistry and contribution to his community.


The Hands

These crooked,
scarred, sandpaper hands

with fingers scorched by red-hot pots,
nails worn down by spinning clay

and palms repeatedly cut deep
to white of bone by splintered shards.

The fissured flesh in arctic slip,
bruised knuckles battered out of sync.

Abraded, seared, abrasive hands,
arthritic hands abandoned to rough consequence

through years of repetition
still meet the mind’s demands.

Levigating Gold Dust

The granite grains
that fall away
wash through streams
to rivers that are full
of mica, quartz and feldspar
that levigate to pits of siliceous sand
where they wait to be found
and refined
by rigorous hands.

Like my meditations
that fall away
and wash through streams
to rivers that are full
of half-baked dreams
that levigate to pits of dormant thought
where they wait to be found
and refined
by rigorous minds.