February 27, 2023

Ger Killeen (b. Ireland / USA) 1960

Ger Killeen (b. Ireland / USA)



Ger Killeen was born in Ireland in 1960. He was educated at University College, Dublin and the University of London. He now lives on the Oregon coast and is a professor in the Department of Literature and Writing at Marylhurst University.


     His books include A Wren, which won the 1989 Bluestem Award for Poetry, A Stone that Will Leap over Waves (1999), and Signs Following (2005). His poetry has been anthologized in From Here We Speak, On the Counterscarp, and American Poetry: The Next Generation. Killeen has also published translations of the Galician poet, Alvaro Cunqueiro. He recently edited an anthology, More Truly, More Strange: An Anthology of Poetry in Augmented Reality.

    Recent collections include Blood Orbits (2009), JuárOz (2015), and Ghost Topologies (2021).

  Killeen writes that at present he sees his poetic practice as a kind of paradoxical restorative unraveling: “The holes and gaps that remain when the threads of fakery and oppression have been pulled out of the fabric of language and narrative structure leave room for new imaginative and truer weavings of language that might serve to provide us with the outlines of a more inclusive, nonviolent, demythologized narrative, a hugely capacious and liberating story we can inhabit in recognition both of each other’s autonomy and kinship.”




A Wren (Emporia, Kansas: Bluestem Press, 1989); Lia a léimfidh thar tonnta = A Stone that Will Leap over Waves (Portland, Oregon: Trask House Books, 1999); Signs Following (West Lafayette, Indiana: Parlor Press, 2005); Blood Orbits (West Lafayette, Indiana: Parlor Press, 2009); JuárOz: A Poetic Fiction (Portland, Oregon: Headlandia Press, 2014); Ghost Topologies: Augmented Reality Poems (2021)







The storm discovers


its voice, and the meanings


multiply gust by gust.


It all becomes


a city of one dream. Think


of sleep as a fire


whose blown white heat


brings out layer


after smudged layer


of sentences


quilled in citron inks,


book chapters, perhaps.


The lucky salvage


fistfuls of smoke, pen


them away inside


the orbital cavities


sunk in lovely skulls. So many


eyes the color of parchment


perching like pigeons


on spires, on ramparts,


so many chilling nights


of hilarious weeping.




Reprinted from Green Integer Review, No. 3 (May-July 2006)

Copyright ©2006 by Ger Killeen

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