The Pen Behind the Wire

Prison Poems 1982-1991

Eoghan Mac Cormaic

Eoghan ‘Gino’ Mac Cormaic from Derry served 15 years in jail and was on the blanket protest for 5 years at a time when 10 of his comrades died on hunger strike. The poems he wrote, smuggled out to his family who kept them safe from British Army raids, now give us an insight into his and his comrades’ prison lives.

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Description

Thousands of republicans were imprisoned over a thirty-year period and served lengthy sentences beginning in 1970 as a result of the struggle to end British rule in Ireland. Their experiences generated huge body of prison literature, comparable to earlier periods in the independence struggle. Former POWs, as well as writing their memoirs, have written short stories, novels, plays and screenplays and, of course, poetry. The writings of Bobby Sands, for example, have never been out of print over the past forty-two years and have been translated into many languages.

Eoghan ‘Gino’ Mac Cormaic from Derry served fifteen years in jail and was on the blanket protest for five years at a time when ten of his comrades died on hunger strike. Eoghan began writing poems on toilet paper and cigarette papers and smuggled them out to his family who kept them safe from British Army raids and seizures. Some of the poems were published in Republican News.

A selection of these early ‘blanket’ poems, and other prison poems written after the protest, give us an insight into Eoghan and his comrades’ lives – which even the prison couldn’t contain – and allows us to look with them from their cell windows out into the world where hopes and dreams would be realised someday.

Details

Format: Paperback / Softback

ISBN / EAN: 9783949573033

Published On: 1 July, 2023

Page Count: 102

Publisher: Greenisland Press

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