Poet launches collection inspired by late brother

the launch of John Mc Kenna’s new book of poetry “Where Sadness Begins” took place on Saturday, November 10, in Farrell and Nephew Bookshop.

the launch of John Mc Kenna’s new book of poetry “Where Sadness Begins” took place on Saturday, November 10, in Farrell and Nephew Bookshop.

His second poetry collection since 1976 was inspired by his late brother Jarleth who passed away seven years ago in America from Motor Neurone Disease.

“There are four themes in the book and one of them is grief,” said John. “My brother’s death, life, family and some have a Japanese style to them. The title poem is about how we all go through the same things but carry our own inner sadness. We think we are coping until somebody takes their own life and then we realise that we are not all able to cope in the same way.”

John, from Castledermot, is the author of 15 books and the winner of the Irish Times Fiction Award, the C Day Lewis Award, the Hennessey New Irish Writing Award and a Jacobs Award for his documentary work with the poet and song-writer Leonard Cohen.

“Leonard is a lovely guy,” he added. “He is really nice with a dark sense of humour who radiates positivity.”

This collection is dedicated to John’s friend John Wortley, a wood sculptor who is in his 90’s and lives outside Athy with his daughter Francis. “He has such an aura of wisdom about him.”