‘There are echoes of Shane MacGowan and early Edna O’Brien, but no one else is writing like this.’ Roy Foster
‘It’s not often you pick up a book and feel within five pages that this is what you’ve been waiting to read your whole life… What the Pogues did to folk music when they took it by the scruff of the neck, Evans does to the sonnet (literally “little song”), creating furious narrative bursts with the energy of three-minute punk songs…I’ll be giving this book to all my friends, and if Carcanet bring it out on vomit-coloured vinyl, I’ll do it all over again. Buy it or, better, steal it.’
‘Evans drops her depth charges intermittently, unexpectedly and with great power and control. Her technical excellence combines with a clear-eyed and capacious artistry so that no poem is only itself and every poem is changed by those around it… Evans is able to bang words together so that the sparks start to fly, but whenever she deploys rhyme, it works, too….Ian Dury of the Blockheads (‘Had a love affair with Nina/in the back of my Cortina’), would have been wowed by Evans’s fiery and tender rhymes and her extraordinary ability to put across an accent without lampooning it or resorting to phonetic renderings…there are marvels in The Coming Thing that… all talented storytellers will love: the sheer joy of spoken language, the honesty of the writing, the fragile exuberance of youth…
Ian McMillan explores the wave of new Irish writing emerging from both the north and south with Elaine Feeney, Martina Evans, James Conor Patterson and Prof Liam Harte.