You Have to Laugh

You Have to Laugh

Mairéad Byrne’s You Have to Laugh: New + Selected Poems (New York: Barrow Street, 2013) was launched at the Associated Writers & Writing Programs Annual Conference in Boston 2013:

Irish emigrant poet Mairéad Byrne’s provocative and unhinged You Have to Laugh showcases, for the first time in one volume, more than twenty years of groundbreaking poetry that ranges from taut lyrics, sustained narratives, prose and occasional poems, to high-wired sound texts.  Byrne’s brash energy, wry quips, and engaged bittersweet critiques of the overinflated language of consumerism and world-weariness elevate these poems from the laugh-out-loud funny toward understated pathos.  The way the work integrates high cultural references with spoken-word intensity, while the syntax swerves with wildly varied diction, is sure to attract a wide audience even as it undermines easy categorization. — Barrow Street Press