Taking Liberties

Taking Liberties

‘Everyone should be reading her’ Observer


A collection about motherhood at a time of continuous crisis - from one of Ireland's most important poets

'Everyone should be reading her'

'One of the most accomplished poets of her generation'

These poems emerge from the experience of being a single mother in Belfast, and against a background of seemingly continuous crisis. Political upheaval and anxiety, violence and death are all registered in these poems, which ask questions about where independence is balanced by our relationships with others, and where our inner lives meet the globally connected world.

These are poems about cities - living, travelling and working in cities, getting sick and dying in cities - but also about retreating from all that: to her daughter at home, the budgie, cat and tortoise, or escaping to the park, the municipal pool, the Irish countryside, Newfoundland, or Paris, or into a Nina Simone song.

This is a necessary book - a book very much of our time - with a consistent tone that is brave and bleak, but which also carries with it some much-needed humour, and a wealth of beautiful writing.


  • Anybody with an interest in poetry should be reading Leontia Flynn. Those with no interest should be reading her too: she has what it takes to overcome resistance. All mothers - especially new mothers - should read her... Her thinking is complicated but never arrogantly inaccessible. I was bowled over

About the author

Leontia Flynn

Leontia Flynn has published four poetry collections. Her first book, These Days, won the Forward Prize for best first collection, and her most recent, The Radio (2017), won the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. Her other awards include an Eric Gregory Award, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Prize for Irish Literature, and the AWB Vincent Literary Award, and she has twice been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. She is Reader in Poetry at Queen's University Belfast and was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022.
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