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Released August 31st, 2024 // 80 pages // 978-1-916938-39-7 // RRP £12.99

 

Inspired by the harrowing events surrounding the often overlooked Ballymurphy Massacre in the north of Ireland, Stephanie Ní Thiarnaigh's powerful poetry collection, The Weight of a Feather, delves into the depths of truth and justice. In 2021, an inquest in Belfast finally shed light on these tragic deaths, revealing the families' nearly five-decade struggle for justice amidst persistent disinformation and propaganda from the British military. The title of this collection echoes an ancient Egyptian belief: upon death, a person's heart, symbolizing their life's deeds, was weighed against the feather of Maat, the goddess of truth and justice. This concept weaves through the poems, urging readers to reflect on the nature of truth and to weigh the evidence, consider the human cost of conflict, and make their own judgments.

 

PRAISE for The Weight of a Feather:

Incisive and devastating, this is a vital, mesmerising and necessary study into a hidden history. The complexity and inventiveness refuses to be alienating and showcases a new potential of what poetry can bring to historical and political events. A masterful work that stays with you long after reading.

— Ciarán Hodgers

 

There are ways in which art and the artist can more adequately capture and convey history, collective trauma, and deep feeling than simple record keeping. Ní Thiarnaigh, through