Bar Talk is Irish poet Nessa O'Mahony's first poetry collection, originally published in 1999.
Poet Katie Donovan reviewed:
"Nessa O'Mahony's debut collection dwells in the fraught and many faceted field of relationships: affections, loves and hurts. A wry, unself-pitying tone pervades. The mood is self-aware rather than dramatic or sentimental: this is the voice of a survivor. She sits at the bar and watches the lives of others - lovers, friends, family - while holding her own joys and sorrows in perspective. This urbane voice weaves deeper resonances through the memories and anecdotes it recounts."
©2014 Nessa O'Mahony (P)2014 Athena Media Ltd.
Lovely to hear this first book of poems by poet Nessa O'Mahony read in her own voice. It captures the youth and excitement of living and loving in Dublin at the end of the 20th century.
I enjoyed the varied subject matter covered in the poems - things that happened in sports events, bars, home life, relationships. I almost felt that the poems could have been grouped according to the topics to which they were relating.
I thought the musical transition pieces in-between the poems worked very well - they let me know that there was a change in poem without being intrusive.
I preferred the poems that took place in the bars or the ones concerning sports (in actual terms and in metaphorical ones!) as these are two areas of my life to which I relate the most.
I did not really have an emotional reaction to this book - it may have been due to having the poetry read to me - I usually find that if I am reading the poem myself, then I will (sometimes) connect with it emotionally.
I really enjoyed most of the collection, but I thought that, at times, the readings were a bit stilted and had almost a self-conscious awareness that the author was reading 'poetry' - I think I would have liked the readings to be a bit lighter and have a bit more flow to them.
Listening to this audiobook each morning on my walk to work in the Sydney sunshine, I was transported back home in the most pleasant of ways. The poet herself narrates, which gives it a lovely personal touch. Hearing her talk of Smithfield, the chipper in Churchtown and the Dublin bus commute made me smile.....it's a beautiful collection.
Absolutely! Nessa's Bar Talk tells the stories of love, heartbreak, life, death and everything in between. The poetry is charming and hugely accessible and relatable. This audiobook is especially interesting as Nessa herself reads the poems. Thoroughly enjoyable.
I think Margaret's Bar is one of my favourite poems in this collection. Nessa's clever and witty delivery with the highly visual stanzas, transports you right to the scene.
reader, writer, listener!
Yes - poetry is a wonderful match for audiobooks and these poems read very well. The music in the titles works.
It is always an added bonus to have an author - in this case a poet - who can read their own work. Nessa has a clear and friendly voice and it adds to the enjoyment of the work.
The music adds to the audiobook and helps you follow the flow of the poems knowing when they have ended since the titles are always in music. Nice touch.
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