Montreal: Coracle Press, 2009
ISBN 978-0-9687599-6-7. $16.95 (paper)
By Anne Forrest.
Published in Nuacht, May 2010
(Nuacht is the newsletter of the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal)
Opening with “Prologue: Holy Well,” this book drew me in and held my attention until the final poem, “Epilogue: The Colours of the Irish Flag.”
"Girouard Avenue Flat,” the first poem, manages to capture what life was like for an Irish immigrant family who had lived in Montreal for over a century. We are introduced to Morrissey’s grandmother (the matriarch of the family), his great-aunts, and other relatives. “Hoolahan’s Flats, Oxford Avenue” describes what it was like to grow up in NDG in the 1950s. “November,” the third and most moving of the poems, focuses on death and funerals… “The Rock, Or A Short History of the Irish in Montreal” is a memorial to victims of the 1847 Irish Famine and a tribute to those who helped them.
I encourage you to read Girouard Avenue. You won’t be disappointed.