AS WELL as being a poet of note, Kevin Higgins is also a perceptive, cutting, witty, and rather wise critic, and a new book collects some of the best of his reviews and essays.
Salmon has published Mentioning the War – Essays and Reviews (1999 - 2011 ) by Kevin Higgins. The collection will be launched by Darrell Kavanagh on Saturday April 7 at 3pm in the Galway Arts Centre.
Mentioning the War features a variety of works Kevin has produced for the Galway Advertiser, Red Banner, Books In Canada, Criterion, The Journal Of The Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, etc, and while the selections here primarily cover reviews of books and poetry, Kevin also brings to his reviews provocative but informed opinion and analysis of politics, political attitudes and movements, and socio-cultural mores.
Kevin’s writings take in discussions of Michael D Higgins, George Orwell, Ken Bruen, Martin Amis, David Peace, culture, the folly of ‘the end of history’, and neoconservatism.
There are also numerous writings on left-wing attitudes to various issues. In these Kevin is often at his most highly critical, but the reader, if he gives the writer a fair hearing, will find that it comes with an attitude of ‘it’s for your own good I tell you this’. For Kevin consistency and a willingness to own up to failures, and the rooting out contradictions are vital.
This is a stimulating, provocative, collection. There is much here that readers will agree with and plenty that will have them jumping out of their chairs with indignation - but that is what all such collections should be. Be enraged, it will do you good.
Mentioning the War also contains a foreword by Darrell Kavanagh, for whom Kevin was an election agent when Mr Kavanagh ran for Militant Labour in 1994 in the Latymer Ward in the London Borough of Enfield. It also contains an introduction by John Goodby of the University of Swansea, and author of Irish Poetry Since 1950: From Stillness Into History.
All are welcome to the launch.