Caitriona O'Reilly's first collection The Nowhere Birds won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and introduced a new writer of remarkable maturity and narrative power. The book's holding pattern is set by questions of location and flight, beginning with views of childhood and adolescence, then moving outwards in poems of daringly imaginative range-finding. Whether describing a derelict harbour, an Alpine sky, Renaissance statuary or an octopus, O'Reilly manages to etch her images into memory with lapidary skilfulness. Such moments of imagistic stillness interact with a noisier world of human relations, yet the drive of her poems is towards lyric release and detachment. Above and beyond its wealth of detail and cosmopolitan bustle, The Nowhere Birds honours its title with an acute awareness of what goes on at the fringes of experience.