Praise for the light we cannot see

“Anne Casey’s The Light We Cannot See aches with loveliness even as it warns against humanity’s pervasive damage to the environment. Poem after elegant, ecocritical poem showcases Casey’s grasp of the environmental crises we have created in the Anthropocene—whether it’s the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef (“Where once she danced”), the Australian wildfires (“This is not a drill”), or the rising ocean levels (“At sea”). But she interweaves each poem with such a profound beauty that we cannot help but to remember that at least with poetry, humans have created something good. This is a work that breaks your heart with its almost elegiac approach to ecology and the Earth—and yet, Casey offers that scintilla of hope that with human change, all is not lost (“Either way, the fact remains”). A wonderful and staggering collection of poetry.

JC Reilly - Managing Editor of Atlanta Review, author of What Magick May Not Alter


"Anne Casey’s poetry is a revelation. Her work effortlessly moves between the metaphysical and the sensual, the concrete and the lyrical, the inspirational and the earthly. Encountering The Light We Cannot See is to encounter a whole range of human experience evoked with poignancy, poise and grace. It’s the sort of work that lodges within and stays vivid long after reading."

John Tague - Managing Editor of Griffith Review


“Anne Casey’s brilliant new collection of poetry is her best work yet — lyrical, experimental, musical and technically sophisticated. Casey engages passionately with urgent global, local and personal issues, from climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic to exile, motherhood, loss and acceptance. Writing in the tradition of Boland, Heaney and Yeats, she exhibits a mastery of form and subject, crafting beautiful, irrefutable appeals to our emotions, ethics and logic.”

Nathanael O’Reilly - Poet, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, Author of (Un)belonging, Preparations for Departure and Distance


“There is great humanity in these poems, a willingness to be vulnerable and open to emotion. It is matched by a gift for words, an instinct for what can be said and what can only be implied, alongside a true poet’s love of the sound and texture of spoken language, whether pronounced out loud or inwardly towards the mind’s attentiveness. Family, grief, death and separation recur across these poems, but so equally do the tactile sensations of being alive in this world. Landscapes and weather-scapes, birds and animals, urban chatter and quiet open spaces abound in these engaging poems that explore life as it unfolds in the ominous 21st Century.”

Peter Boyle - Poet, Translator of Poetry, Author of Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness, winner of the NSW Premier’s Prize 2020

“In this luminous and searing new collection, Anne Casey invites us into her world of ghosts from the old country rearing up in the new and enthralls us with her evocations and invocations, while planting her uncompromising political, yet beautifully softly-gloved fist, in our hypocrisies. This is a book to carry us through the darkness and guide us to ‘the light we cannot yet see’ in poems that are modern masterpieces.”

Indran Amirthanayagam - Author of The Migrant States, Editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly

About this book:

the light we cannot see traverses a globe caught in the combined turmoil of the climate crisis, COVID-19 and humanitarian unrest, as seen through the eyes of a mother worried for her children’s futures and an exiled daughter struggling with loss and separation from loved ones in her native Ireland. Navigating the path of these apocalyptic spheres and their devastating impacts — including catastrophic bushfires in her adopted homeland of Australia — the poet strives throughout this collection of award-winning poems to connect with our “one persisting challenge — to somehow find our allied humanity”. A probing reflection on the human condition, this book leans always towards “the light we cannot yet see, but know lies ahead”.

Originally from west Clare in Ireland, and living in Sydney, Australia, Anne Casey is an award-winning poet and writer, and author of two previous, critically acclaimed poetry collections—where the lost things go (Salmon Poetry, 2017) and out of emptied cups (Salmon Poetry, 2019). She has worked for 30 years as a journalist, magazine editor, media communications director and legal author. Senior Poetry Editor of Other Terrain and Backstory literary journals (Swinburne University, Melbourne) from 2017-2020, she serves on numerous literary advisory boards. Anne’s writing and poetry are widely published internationally and rank in The Irish Times newspaper’s Most-Read.

She has won/shortlisted for poetry prizes in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the USA, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia, including: the American Writers Review Contest; The Plough Prize; ACU Prize for Poetry; Henry Lawson Poetry Competition; Women’s National Book Association of USA Poetry Competition; 25th Annual Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Competition; Hennessy New Irish Writing; Cúirt International Poetry Prize; Overton Poetry Prize; Bedford International Writing Competition; Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest; Tom Collins Poetry Prize (Fellowship of Australian Writers, Western Australia); and, Fellowship of Australian Writers Queensland Literary Competition.

Anne passionately believes that every poem, like all art, should leave us changed by the experience. Her poems feature internationally in newspapers, magazines, journals, anthologies, broadcasts, podcasts, music albums, stage shows and art exhibitions—The Irish Poetry Reading Archive (James Joyce Library, University College Dublin), The Irish Times, The Canberra Times, Australian Poetry Anthology, Griffith Review, Atlanta Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review, Quiddity, Entropy, apt, The Murmur House, Barzakh (State University of New York), DASH (California State University), Connecticut River Review, The Stony Thursday Book, FourXFour (Poetry Northern Ireland), Westerly Magazine, Cordite Poetry Review, Voices of Women and Plumwood Mountain among many others.

She holds a Law Degree from University College Dublin and qualifications in Media Communications from Dublin Institute of Technology (Technological University Dublin). She is the recipient of an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship for her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney.


Website:   Social Media: @1annecasey


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