WEXFORD writer Jim Maguire's first collection of poetry, 'Music Field', has been launched at Wexford Town Library by the poet and artist Pat Maddock.
The book, which has been in preparation for many years, is based on the theme of music and musicians, which is appropriate given the author's musical background.
As a boy soprano in the 1970s, Jim sang the leading role of Miles in 'The Turn of the Screw' at the Wexford Festival as well as in Paris for Radio France. He later studied music and English and went on to write about classical music for a national newspaper.
He says that having walk-on parts in the Wexford Festival operas when he was in the CBS primary school fostered a lifelong passion for music.
Jim, who works as an adult education tutor at Wexford VTOS, says: 'When I was growing up, you played hurling or football or you were in the scouts or you were an altar boy. I did all those things but for me the best thing about growing up in Wexford was the music. I lived for the festival and the Light Opera and hanging around in the Theatre Royal.'
The book is dedicated to his late aunt, Doreen Maguire, a musician and piano teacher. 'She and my parents were a big influence,' he said. 'My father used to bring me to meetings of the Gramophone Society and buy me LPs from Harry Cadogan's shop.' He also has good memories of the late Isobel Lowney, his first piano teacher.
The 'Music Field', published by Poetry Salzburg, has already been earning high praise from some well-known names in the poetry world. The celebrated Cork poet Thomas McCarthy has referred to Jim as 'the Glenn Gould of our Irish poetry', while Catriona O'Reilly, the former editor of Poetry Ireland, has called his book a work of unmistakeable achievement.