Fiacha Fola (Blood Debts)
Published by Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 2004. Poems which give an account of the Hepatitis C scandal in Ireland. Poem after poem the tragedy unfolds in the description of the everyday events of family life, love, birth and illness, slowly unveiling, without fanfare or self-pity, the brutal truth of a huge injustice visited upon the citizens of this country. A deeply moving book of poetry that reminds us of our humanity and our vulnerability. Winner of Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnachta 2004 in conjunction with Údarás na Gaeltachta.
From the reviews of Fiacha Fola:
Fiacha Fola is an extraordinary sequence of poems written through the eyes of a woman affected by the Hepatitis C scandal…There's no weak link here. Every poem provides another chapter, another essential link in the chain of events. The stark simplicity of language heightens the powerful range of emotions…In this incredibly powerful collection, Celia de Fréine has given us an absolute page-turner. Fiacha Fola is the best collection of poetry I have read this year.
Áine Ní Ghlinn, The Irish Times
Tenderness, love and friendship run as a weave beneath the pain. More than anything else, De Fréine's narrator sings in a voice as eloquent as the psalms.
Liam Carson, The Examiner
Máire Mhac an tSaoi, in her introduction to the book, announces that the poems collected here tell the story of a woman who had a tree fall on her…And the metaphor proves apt. In a heartfelt, beautifully crafted sequence of poems, de Fréine conveys exactly what that means…
Shirley Kelly, Books Ireland
De Fréine's characteristics as shown in this collection are a social cogency, a capacity to express the private and personal so as to render it compellingly universal.
Gréagóir Ó Dúill, Poetry Ireland Review
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