The Goose Woman


A poetry collection available here.

Nearly 20 years ago, after a casual yes, why not, Jane Kirwan and Aleš Macháček moved from sofas and central heating to a ruin with no electricity or water or weasel-free space to sleep in Central Bohemia. The spirit of the space was then and is still – long after her death – a goose woman. She weaves in and out of these poems, connecting the place to the poet’s roots in the West of Ireland; she is there as they build, transform, make a home, she’s there as they get older, become grandparents, and she is mostly quiet, only the occasional cackle.

“These poems capture the rhythms and exquisite details of domesticity and erotic love, the mysterious surfaces of physical experience, the powerful undercurrents of memory, dream and desire that shape and connect us… In the poem ‘Those Left Behind’. Kirwan writes that ” – all we can do is witness, / our outlines are vivid, even the trees.” and the acutely observed poems collected in The Goosewoman are poems of urgent, vivid, moving and profoundly human witness.” Bernie Higgins

“Both the narrator and the wild bees are ‘exiled’ and confused in Slabce, an unimportant village in Central Bohemia. Restoring the house is intertwined with love, the house becomes an anchor, the garden is respectfully controlled nature, yet remains uncontrollable. The Goose Woman, with its wonderfully clever composition, is a book of poems that are both stories and metaphors.” Eva Kalivodova