FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) :: Karen O'Connor
excerpts from the book

FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) is a book about love, heart break, passion and being a woman in the twenty first century. It deals with the agony of losing, the thrill of discovering, the complication of being and the extraordinary power of wanting.

Reviews for FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) by Karen O'Connor

FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) is an impressive collection of poems from Millstreet-born Karen O'Connor. Karen is a poet of talent, a fact confirmed by the fact that Brendan Kennelly sings her praises. The poems in Fingerprints (On Canvas) range from the humorous, such as 92 And Driving, to the very poignant If I Regret. It's never a good idea to pick a favourite out of a collection of verse, as poetry is so subjective, but if my arm was twisted I'd have to volunteer Inspiration - a vivid 23 lines that will mean a lot to anyone who has ever tried some creative writing. Besides, any poem that begins: 'Today I'm sick with poetry, I vomit poems, In ink red as blood, Onto white ruled pages' can't be bad.

Des Breen (Evening Echo)

I think I'll never forget reading "FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas)" for the first time. It was such a delight to discover a voice powered by a spirit of passionate celebration while at the same time confronting dark, difficult emotions, situations and ideas. Karen O'Connor's courage and candour dance through this book. These are the poems of a person articulately at home in her own mind and body while being sharply aware of the strange energies of other bodies and minds. Many of her poems tell stories with striking dramatic concentration, and her confident skills combine to make her vision startlingly available to readers. This is a brilliant, humane, memorable book.

Dr. Brendan Kennelly

Karen O'Connor is a poet capable of surprising, delighting and occasionally astounding the reader with the power of her idiom and her technical control. The poems explode and burn with passion; they strike you as living, breathing entities which are fraught with tensions, but are driven by a strong, clear poetic voice. Not only has she an exhilarating, fresh vision but the poems she produces stay with the reader long after the collection has been finished. FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) is an excellent debut collection from a poet of real promise.

Nigel McLoughlin

Very impressive first collection, fully realised and well achieved. The writing is accurate, lush and sensuous. Keen observer of people, producing poems that are witty, poignant, affectionate. When she writes of birth, copulation and death she doesn't write in the absurd, she writes from a deep spirituality which touches the reader. This is a book that rewards the reader. Karen O'Connor writes lucidly, evocatively, powerfully.

Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Karen O'Connor's poems are modest journeys through intimate spaces that ring with a private knowledge. Images of hauntings, ritual, prayer and desire occur throughout. Often the reader may feel that they have happened upon an old quarrel or sentiment veiled in a light of mystery that she does not always, perhaps rightfully so, explain. Her work is most charming when it does not attempt to resolve or come to a realisation. OConnor is most effective when she does not attempt to charm the reader with sentiment, then her voice carries a unique boldness, as in 'Hunger', 'I hunger to know/The smell of sex when flowers have mated/The scrape of a ladybirds tongue on leaves'.

Sandeep Parma

FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) is published by DOGHOUSE
© Karen O'Connor, April. 2005
ISBN 0-9546487-5-7

Cover Illustration: Woman and Oil Beetle (Juxtaposition). Watercolor
Pauline Bewick © 2000. From a private collection.

excerpts from the book

Irish Poets :: Karen O'Connor FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas) Karen O'Connor - biography Karen O'Connor - gallery Karen O'Connor - contact