John has published his debut poetry collection at Dedalus Press.
"Constantly inventive and unerringly precise, the poems in John Kelly’s debut collection reveal an author at home with both the stand-alone lyric and the longer, apparently improvisational pieces that contribute so much to this book’s extraordinary brio and style.
The breadth of cultural reference is perhaps a given, but Kelly’s real achievement is to make sense of a sometimes teeming field of vision. From the natural world to the troubled north of his youth, through encounters with art – and its creators – to poems that chart the seismic changes that come with love, fatherhood and loss, Notions is a book full of humour and play, wonder and woundedness."
When you bow your head
to the soloing thrush,
lit like an old friend’s soul
in the bones of a silver birch.
— from ‘Winter’s Blessing’
“These are very remarkable and compelling poems.With strong narratives and events, vivid and surprising language, and a marvellous square-on exactness.”
— Bernard O’Donoghue