The Water Stealer

Maurice Riordan

The Water Stealer is the fourth collection by Maurice Riordan, a writer of precise searching originality.

Date Published
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These poems report on worlds both robust and delicate, from boisterous pub-bluff to the oxygen bubble of an exquisite underwater spider. Whether situated in the quiet lanes of his native Co Cork or amid the bustle of his adopted London, Riordan’s poems exist between many states, poised at once in the grip of both activity and stillness, concerned with speaking and listening to what he hauntingly describes as ‘the unwonted quiet’. There are tributes to the departed and the living, the befriended and the estranged; there are also conversations with poets, in memory and in translation, from the Spanish and from the Irish.

The collection concludes with ‘The Pilgrim’ – that hovers eerily ‘in patrol of the edges’, wherever they may be located. But just as these poems can be sage, they are also mischievous, fun-loving, gregarious creatures who like nothing better than to sing or to joke at your ear. The Water Stealer is a book full of invention and delight, whose hypnotic stories remind us of the variousness and the enchantment of the world.

Critic Reviews

This is a strong, wise and enduring work: The Water Stealer shows Riordan coming fully into his own.

Aingeal Clare, Guardian
Critic Reviews

Maurice Riordan's fourth collection, The Water Stealer, continues to mine the rich material that was at the heart of his outstanding 2007 collection, The Holy Land. Riordan is a thoughtful, enquiring poet and an impressive storyteller.

Irish Times, John McAuliffe

Maurice Riordan was born in 1953 in Lisgoold, Co. Cork. His first collection, A Word from the Loki (1995), was nominated for the T. S. Eliot Prize, as was The Water Stealer (2013). Floods (2000) was a Book of the Year in both the Sunday Times and the Irish Times, and The Holy Land (2007) won the Michael Hartnett Award.…

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