In her debut poetry collection, closely following the UK publication of her pamphlet Circling for Gods, Jo Burns ranges far and wide, circling the globe to reflect on occurrences in places as diverse as India, Germany, South Africa and Northern Ireland, shifting her gaze back and forth in time as she surveys the wreckage of a post-colonialist landscape.
Born in Maghera in the 1970s, Burns belongs to the generation that grew up amidst the Troubles, coming of age in the tumultuous years leading up to the Good Friday Agreement. While new cohorts of Ulster poets have emerged from a society marked by a troubled peace, Burns remains firmly tied to a generation that has seen too much and is unable to forget:
Admit it Ulster, the one thing you taught me – horizons can flourish over the blackestof ground. When trouble sinks into itself, bells spring up from bulbs in unlikely places………
Read more about this review of White Horses in the Dublin Review of Books. https://www.drb.ie/essays/surveying-the-wreckage
“White Horses is a rich and varied debut collection from a prize-winning poet. The poems navigate both geographical and emotional landscapes with clarity. Even when traversing the most unfamiliar, difficult ground, the poet maintains an unflinching eye and face ‘the moon straight on’. This is a book of departures and arrivals. From the polarities of the cosmos to myth, faith and family lines, Burns delivers poems which engage, inform, move and delight the reader.” Stephanie Conn
” From Picasso’s lovers, myth-making to meditation on language, White Horses is an ambitious piece of work, imbued with vision and lyricism. Through her precision, assured voice and a brilliant use of form, Burns reveals the complexity of love and identity, the necessity of myth-making, and the price of intimacy.” Jennifer Wong