Joan McBreen's new book Map & Atlas

Posted on Feb 14, 2017 by yeats_admin


Launch by Niall MacMonagle of Joan McBreen’s collection Map and Atlas

The poems in Map and Atlas are reflective of Joan McBreen's 'lived experience' in the current and recent past dealing with illness, vulnerability and frailty, all highlighting the temporariness of life itself. Yet amidst this there is resilience and determination.

Map and Atlas (Salmon Poetry 2017), Joan’s 5th collection of poetry, will be launched by teacher, editor and art lover, Niall MacMonagle.

Joan has edited two anthologies and has engaged in a number of artistic collaborative projects including the Mountain Ash Broadside with printmaker Margaret Irwin and letterpress printer, Mary Plunkett ( Artisan House Connemara, 2015). At Listowel Writers’ Week in 2014, Joan launched her CD The Mountain Ash in Connemara, readings accompanied by Glen Austin’s compositions performed by the RTÉ ConTempo String Quartet.


Joan McBreen, from Sligo, now divides her time between Tuam and Renvyle, Co. Galway. She is a serving member of the board of Poetry Ireland.

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Map and Atlas by Joan McBreen

Map (OD) A disgrammatic representation of an are of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc.

Atlas (OD) A book of maps or charts

Design concept

Let the heart be your compassThe poems in Map and Atlas are reflective of Joan McBreen's 'lived experience' in the current and recent past dealing with illness, vulnerability and frailty, all highlighting the temporariness of life itself. Yet amidst this there is resilience and determination.

The layering of meaning in this collection is reflected in the cover illustration. The initial viewing may be a bird’s eye view of a chart, a map, a possible criss-cross of roads, canals, waterways. The design lightly references the compass containing four opposing elements, N,S,E and W, the essential tool of the traveller, the map-maker and architect to locate order and direction. Upon closer inspection, the cover, like the poems, reveal further meaning and depth.

Blue and orange which, in the colour wheel, are diagonally opposite complement each other in warmth and serenity.