As chosen by the RTÉ Poetry Programme, our Poem of the Week is Bright Star, Elegy for David Bowie, by Graham Allen.

Graham Allen is Professor of English at UCC. When he published his first collection with New Binary Press, The One that Got Away, in 2014, the distinguished American critic Harold Bloom called his poetry ‘astonishing’.

He has now published his second collection, The Madhouse System, also with New Binary Press, which expands on his concerns with history, the Romantic poetic tradition, and social as well as individual identity. Questioning how the inhabitants of a madhouse escape, this collection rounds on a set of answers which take us out of present day evils back to the possibility of a future and the certainties of love.

Listen to Bright Star, Elegy for David Bowie below:

In Saturday’s Poetry Programme (7:30 pm on Saturday 3 December on RTÉ Radio 1), Graham joins presenter Rick O’Shea from RTÉ’s Cork studio to talk about this wide-ranging and thought-provoking second collection, and the impact on his life and writing of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Photo: Courtesy of New Binary Press