Invitation To A Sacrifice

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A Rebel Poetry Classic - Invitation To A Sacrifice is a book of heart=-hittinhg satire and heart-rending lyrics, published to acclaim at the height of the great recession in 2010.


There's a remarkable energy at work here, impatient of shibboleths and sacred cows, while indifferent to conventional lyric effect. The long final poem, A Resurrection in Charlesland , is a bravura showpiece, working brilliantly on the page, as it must in performance. In it, Lordan breathlessly turns his head-on rant against our late but not lamented Celtic Tiger into powerful polemic, letting the rush of linguistic mayhem (Swiftian and Joycean riffs recur) be the proper metaphor for an anarchic state of things that's mostly (by conspiracy and public collusion) hidden from sight, For all its differences of register and verbal manners, this poem might claim a place beside the poems of Kavanagh's satiric period and Kinsella's Nightwalker . Like them, it is an act of creative resistance to a suspect status quo, a resistance which Lordan correctly sees as part of poetry's business.

The Irish Times

It is a book in which the hypocrisies of church and state are unapologetically exposed in poems that seethe with anger and indignation - a 'demonapingfury' that demands to be read and heard in the way that Lordan's great precursors (including Burroughs and Bolaño) command our attention. No other Irish poet writing today has a clearer sense of the rottenness of the contemporary Irish state, or the courage to critique it in the way Lordan does in this collection, 'boiling with love and the apocalypse'. This is not just a book for readers of poetry: it should be read by anyone interested in the social and cultural transformations that have taken place in Ireland (and Europe) in recent decades. Ignore it and stay ignorant.  

Philip Coleman, Director of Postgraduate Teaching & Learning at Trinity College Dublin English Department.