Seán Lysaght was born in 1957 and grew up in Limerick. He now lives in Westport and lectures at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. His publications include Robert Lloyd Praeger: The Life of a Naturalist and Venetian Epigrams, translations from Goethe (Gallery, 2008), and five collections of poems, most recently The Mouth of a River (Gallery, 2007). He received the 2007 O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry.
"Seán Lysaght's unquestioned forte is nature poetry . . . he is the best practitioner in that field in Ireland today."
In his review of Selected Poems (2010) James Harpur celebrated the ‘sensitivity and insight’ of Seán Lysaght's work, the ‘sense of a pact with nature, of a spell remaining unbroken’.
Carnival Masks is Seán Lysaght’s first collection of new poems since The Mouth of a River (2007). It begins in the now familiar place of that book and follows a calendar of reverend attention, its eye and ear in tune to the open spaces of North Mayo. Here, in vivid, signature poems, are skylarks in January, winds in March and April, the arrival of swallows and ‘a squall at the mountain's heart’ in late August. Here, too, is a run of sonnets engaging with Spenser and a handful of resplendent translations of Goethe and Rilke.
Carnival Masks pivots on a sequence of Venetian epigrams that open into the new light and erotic world of the French Riviera, Tuscan land- and seascapes and an olive grove in autumn. These shimmering poems — and Seán Lysaght's most opulent book — traverse Europe itself to embrace and report ‘the fabulous, inexhaustible / line of the wide Mediterranean’.Carnival Masks
The Gallery Press