Saturday 28 February 2015


by Merill Moore

He stroked the cats on account of a specific cause,
Namely, when he entered the house he felt
That the floor might split and the four walls suddenly melt
In strict accord with certain magic laws.
That, it seemed, the carving over the door meant,
Laws violated when men like himself stepped in,
But he had nothing to lose and nothing to win,
So in he always stepped. Before him went
Always his shadow. The sun was at his back.
The ceilings were high and the passageway was so black
That he welcomed the great cats who advanced to meet him,
The two of them arching their soft high backs to greet him;
He would kneel and stroke them gently under their jaws,
All that is mentioned above being the cause.

Friday 6 February 2015


Liverpool University Press have announced a 'special February discount' on my memoir 'A Runner Among Falling Leaves'. £5 only, buy now while stocks last!!

‘O’Driscoll’s book is an important document: well written, brisk, unfooled, it makes cool, frank and poetic observations of the intersection between personal desire and cultural possibility. At a time when we risk losing the run of ourselves in the forever ‘new’ Ireland of today, this brave, honest book should not be missed.’
Gerald Dawe, The Irish Times.

'Ciaran O'Driscoll is a poet of the first order. This book makes it clear that he is also a consummate writer of prose. This memoir reveals much suffering as well as unusual integrity, with humour and youth in it in spite of everything, and a hard-won resolution at the end. It is an extraordinary feat. Read it.'   Pearse Hutchinson, The RTE Guide.

 ‘A wonderfully evocative exploration of personal childhood traumas and their adult resonance… a rarity in the field.’ 
Darragh McManus, The Irish Examiner

'Ciaran O'Driscoll can compete with Frank McCourt in the misery stakes, but A Runner Among Falling Leaves is neither predictable nor derivative, and the author's lyrical style gives it an edge over the dozens of other memoirs clamouring for space on our bookshelves.' 
Shirley Kelly, Books Ireland

‘The book combines nostalgia with truth and social commentary with poetry.... O’Driscoll’s return to his background and his humane portrayal of growing up, a process which is life-long, is rich and compelling.’  Sue O’Connor, The Reader (UK)

'I grew up in the town of this memoir. It all comes back to me through O'Driscoll"s poetic eye, the back row of Egan's cinema, the stink and sweat of Fair Days, the schoolboy jingles, the girls swimming in the King's River. But at the heart of the book is a deeply affecting, traumatic relationship between father and son. Here the writing is terrifying and like no other memoir I have read.'
Thomas Kilroy, playwright and author of The Big Chapel.