Reviews - Avantcard Publications

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"The poems in Alan Murphy’s third collection, Prometheus Unplugged, exhibit a new assurance in matters such as rhyme, rhythm and scansion. Myth and music chime harmoniously in verses where ancient Greek meets ageing rocker and where the encounters resound with literary echoes: “I met a weirdo from an antique band . . . ” The humour of the writing is matched in the colourful collage illustrations, all nostalgically redolent of a time when the summers lasted for ever."
-Robert Dunbar, The Irish Times

"Alan Murphy's third book of poetry and cut out illustrations, Prometheus Unplugged, has all the colourful wonder and imagination that his first two books delivered on. He is a fun, inventive writer and illustrator, and this time it is a 'rock and roll' story with the mythical Prometheus ( he gifted fire to the world). In Murphy's book, Prometheus is an emerging rock star, with all the verbal swagger of an air guitar legend who knows he is destined for " The sound of a thousand stellar guitars/On a thousand stages in a thousand bars". You sense the "coolest sound in the cosmos" from a sonic onslaught "that ironed out your perm and curdled your flares"
Sometimes. it rains rock and roll with the sun coming out for an encore and the poem, A Flea At A Rock Concert, is like no show I have ever seen, and, The Crows, are the talented "tenacious-taloned" band of curmudgeons who "soar in dark armies".
There are pastiche country songs like, There's A Hole In My Guitar, and the Lullaby Rap, that will not send a child to sleep, is such fun but not funnier than, Rock Lobsters, or the disco of funky music, Rhythm and Boos.
Poem after poem entertains with the coolest puns like, " And the hippest of all at the geometry ball was Mobius and his band". Whose "sum was not a square". The poem, Band Names, overflows with puns like, "Hyperactive Noise"; "Seething Heathens"; "Quantum Physique"; "Babies With Rabies" or "Jazz Octopus".
Alan Murphy encores with, Act of Mod, and then rocks out with, The Rime Of The Ancient Hard Rocker, before giving over the stage to Foetalmania, whose anthem is " We're here to stay/And we'll soon learn to sing,/ And we'll soon learn to play".
What more can I say."
-Liam Murphy, Munster Express
"A lot of incredible talent has emerged recently from Ireland. Alan Murphy is one of the them...daring,innovation and style...quirky,highly intelligent poems...Murphy is so comfortable with words [that his poems are] nutritional brain food for the reader"
-Buzz Words Magazine Online

"I love everything about this book of poems for young people and so wish we could see more of this type of publication, combining as it does high production values with verse and visual material which will delight and stimulate the imaginations of adults and children alike."
-The School Librarian

"These are verses to be experienced rather than analysed - the language needs tasting on the winsomeness."
-Books For Keeps

"Murphy has already established his credentials as an idiosyncratic and offbeat observer of what he generally sees as a confused and confusing world...Matching his words with his equally quirky collage illustrations, he focuses on how incomprehension can result both in zany laughter and feelings of doubt and fear. Life's unpredictability and, even more, its absurdities are nicely captured."
-Irish Times Supplement, "Must-Reads for Under 12s"

"Explores big themes and ideas about the world [and is] always rhyming, playing with words and taking literal meanings to surreal lengths...the poems lend themselves to being read aloud with gusto for the enjoyment of children of all ages."
-Children's Books Ireland Recommended Reading Guide 2011

“Alan Murphy has excelled himself with his new book Psychosilly, a mixture of poems and art collages…Page after page there is such a rich and wonderful engagement with words and meanings...[He] not only gives new young readers such fun but he re-imagines a world that might have lost a little sprinkle of sparkle for older readers. And it is such a visual feast, a jelly and ice cream for the eyes as well as a literary liquorice all sorts too.”
-Liam Murphy, Munster Express

“The poems will make [children] think as well as giggle.”
-Books Ireland
“What a breath of fresh air! And with a bite to its verse and illustration. This is a most welcome addition to irish published books for children, for its adventuresome energy, its delight in words and picture, and the range of its thoughtful meanderings. Alan Murphy, writer and illustrator, takes a monty python route in verse for young readers. No straight edges and the words, as one poem is titled, all ‘funk and jazz‘.”
-Seamus Cashman, Children’s Books Ireland Bookfest, 2009.

”An irish poet makes his debut with this eye-catching and ear-bending collection-and provides the colourfully and appropriately surreal collage illustrations as well. Encompassing such subjects as the alien binmen, the devil’s hot water bottle, and funk and jazz, murphy’s poems are diverting journeys into the sort of imaginative realm we might associate with a picasso or a chagall, both of whom are refrenced here: “so doff your hat but hold onto your head;/just lose your logical limits instead”. The wonderfully liberating consequences of an abandonment of these “logical limits” are wittily delineated in murphy’s poems.”
-Robert Dunbar in The Irish Times, books of the year.

“It deserves to do well. I like where [he’s] coming from!…the illustrations are great.”
-Arthur Mathews, co-author of Father Ted.

“quirky, funny and eccentric…cheerful and colourful…despite their apparent silliness the poems are well crafted and thought out. they use a vocabulary which does not patronise the reader and will probably expand his or hers.”
-Books Ireland.

“9 out of 10.”
-Colm Power, aged 11.

“The picasso of Irish poetry…each poem takes the reader on its own amazing journey, into a unique world of wonder…you never cease to be amazed by the explosion of colourful words and vivid imagery created by the poet.”
-The Avondhu.

“Amazing…I love this book…Alan Murphy is an original.”
-Munster Express.

“I love books like [this] that defy categorisation. is this a poetry book with collage illustrations, or is the whole thing a piece of art that just happens to look like a book? It doesn’t really matter either way. There is a crazy wackiness about this publication that I really like. Full of non-sequitur and bizarre juxtapositions, there is a distinct surrealistic quality in both the art and the verse. Collages are all patterns and images or part images, cut from magazines to create new images that are as bizarre as the poems they accompany.….all I can say is read it…relax the mind and enjoy!”
-Teresa Doran, Books Ireland.
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