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The journey that Eamonn Wall visits and revisits in his poetry is that of the immigrant, and in his recent collection, “Junction City: New and Selected Poems: (1990-2015)” (Salmon Poetry, 139 pages, $21) we see the breadth and richness of his journey. For the University of Missouri-St. Louis professor, whose native land is County Wexford, Ireland, travel is intimate. Not only is each new place sacred (a Phillips 66 gas station on Brentwood Boulevard and the Slaney River of Ireland), but the act of travel (the car ride and the Burger King drive-thru) is equally sacred. Lizzy Peterson St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Eamonn Wall has, over the past two decades, written a body of work that has made him one of Ireland’s leading diaspora poets, though he is nothing like as famous as he should be. The publication of this fine collection of his best poems should, if there is any small bit of justice in the world at all, help establish Eamonn Wall as one of the leading Irish poets of the post-Heaney generation. Kevin Higgins Galway Advertiser.
The poem is among the most striking reminders that Wall is intent on chronicling not only human displacement, but also the environmental devastation that all too often triggers that displacement–a concern that he developed in his groundbreaking critical study, Writing the Irish West: Ecologies and Traditions, which would provide the impetus for many Irish Studies scholars to examine the collection more closely. Wall’s most recent poetry, included at the beginning of Junction City: New and Selected Poems, shows him still intent on “unwinding the immigrant,” a task that leads him full circle back to Inwood. Donna L. Potts New Hibernia Review.