Poetry reviews: great unmaskings and disappearing acts

New collections by Tara Bergin, Elaine Feeney and Siobhán Campbell explore the ways in which people play with their identities – and become trapped by them Tara Bergin: ‘The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx’ is an exhilarating read, daring, original and very funny It won’t help if I tell you this but it might. I was making this mask for the children. I was holding the white face in my hand, its underside around my palm. I was painting it. It was not at all frightening. But as I was doing it I was thinking, This is interesting. This is like a physical manifestation of what I do. I mean: what I do daily in my room . I held the face in my hand and painted it. Then I tried it on and said What do you think? So begins Mask , one of the outstanding poems in Tara Bergin’s brilliant new collection, The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx (Carcanet, £9.99). Bergin won both the Shine and Seamus Heaney First Collection prizes for her debut, This is Yarrow , in 2014, a book in which her command of voices and ability to generate dramatic momentum seemed effortlessly convincing. […]

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