Green Carnations, Glas na Gile, compiled and published in 2020, is an anthology of verse from twenty-five contributing LGBT+ poets on the island of Ireland.
The fabulous book cover features bespoke art by Book Hub Publishing’s Avril Egan and was designed by Hub’s Declan Durcan. The interior was designed by Rare Swan Press editor in chief, Renée Sigel and Hub’s Niall MacGiolla BhuÍ with Caroline Redmond Kenny.
The anthology charts the ups and downs of first loves, longer partnered relationships and sexual encounters.
If “the heart is a lonely hunter”, the poets featured know the terrain.
Theirs is a country where the motley of individuality is struggled with and worn. No tiresome sameness in the verse, but, at their best brave lines and voices heard and felt at the raw nerve of human existence, what it means to be human in an LGBT+ context. One that is as old as and older still than the creatorly plains of genesis.
The poets are gathered by their first names, or initials, and range in age from the late teens, –some in their final Leaving Certificate Year 2020 – to the thirties. The same-sex Irish Marriage 2015 Referendum passed by a majority of the electorate (celebrated in some poems) is a line in the sand to be lived with, accepted and celebrated.
Each poet was requested to contribute a short biography and to introduce the poems. Some poets prefer to use a pseudonym. Some accompany their poems with artwork. All struggle with identity, who they are. Individuality rather than editorial sameness is reflected where possible.
Sometimes something of a sharedness of serenity is achieved. More often than not the growing pains, loves, endearments and durabilities that are anyone’s in a relationship.
The book is essentially a young person’s anthology, a sharing among contributors and with readers as all face a common future.