Damian Gorman was a highlight of 4 Corners Festival in 2020. He arrived among us with a humility, rural Irish confabulation, insightful world wisdom and words to open the soul. He gave himself to our festival in the most generous of ways.
His poetry was so good that I was googling his work to see where to start acquiring a lengthy catalogue of books. Nothing! How on earth could this man not have a book out?
Thankfully before he arrives back at 4 Corners Festival this year, the book is available. As If I Cared was finally published and it doesn’t let us down.
This is more than a poetry book. Damian’s imagination takes you on a short memoir journey. He begins by talking about his father, a harsh man who left more marks on Damian than we would like but ends with words of love to him. In between we get all kinds of poems. Short bursts of memoir, essay and other writings about his upbringing, his own children, The Troubles, other country’s troubles and more.
Some of these words are endearing; some are nuggets of good advice; some are insights into the mess we are; some are clues to the direction out of that mess; and some are rather hard hitting of soul and head and heart.
All of it comes with a deep sensitivity to words and a deep tenderness to human beings. On the back cover there is quotation of Adrienne Rich “without tenderness we are in hell”. Damian’s words tend to be all about keeping us out of hell and nudging us in other directions.
At 4 Corners Festival 2020 Damian spoke of story telling being like the Eucharist where the writer breaks himself apart to feed others. As a literary eucharist As If I Cared is nourishing soul food.
Damian Gorman is reading at Breathe Out, the final event of 4 Corners Festival 2021 - book here - https://4cornersfestival.com