The Shape of the Dance
Essays, Interviews and Digressions
When Michael Donaghy died in 2004 – unexpectedly at the tragically young age of 50, of a brain aneurism – the UK lost one of its best-loved poets. Michael was not only a brilliant, prize-laden poet and performer of his own work, but a great teacher and inspirer of others. Coverage of his death was unprecedented. Picador published his final book a year later, and it met with great critical acclaim.
We have been delighted to discover, upon going through his archive, that in addition to the dozen or so prose and critical excursions we knew about, and held in highest regard – Michael Donaghy has also written many essays, articles and lectures that were of similar quality. Donaghy’s wide-ranging intellectual curiosity is evident in his critical essays; in the course of a single paragraph, he refers to Irish music, neuroscience, Renaissance art and palaeontology to make a point about a line of Eliot’s or Dickinson’s.
Fluently and amusingly written, and displaying the full scope of Donaghy’s magpie-like intellect, this book will appeal to poetry and non-poetry readers alike. This collection of prose has an introduction by Clive James and was published alongside his Collected Poetry.