James Harpur has published eight poetry collections and is a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of arts. He has won a number of awards for his poetry, including the UK National Poetry Competition. His books include The Oratory of Light (2021), poems inspired by Iona and St Columba; The Examined Life (2021), winner of the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize; and The White Silhouette (2018) an Irish Times Book of the Year. James regularly broadcasts his work on radio and gives readings and talks about writing, inspiration and the imagination at literary festivals and in schools and universities. The Pathless Country, winner of the JG Farrell Award and an Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Award, is his debut novel. He lives in West Cork. http://www.jamesharpur.com

Praise for Harpur’s work:

‘The Examined Life’: ‘A quite marvellous work … an Odyssey, a Ulysses shaken up in the snow-dome of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.’ Stephen Fry, from the foreword.

‘The Monk’s Dream’: ‘Harpur’s use of classical allusion is gentle, sentient, profound … “The Frame of Furnace Light” is an extraordinary piece of writing.’ Maggie O’Farrell, Poetry Review.

‘The Dark Age’: ‘His brilliant imagery and luxuriant natural descriptions offer plenty to enjoy.’ Sarah Crown, The Guardian.

‘The White Silhouette’: ‘A resonant, moving pilgrimage of great beauty.’ Martina Evans, The Irish Times.

Image by Dino Ignani