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Subseries 3.1a
Collected poetry by Higgins, 1986-2011
Boxes 33-38

Scope and Content Note

The subseries consists of poetry written by Rita Ann Higgins from 1986-2011 and collected in her volumes Goddess on the Mervue Bus (1986), Witch in the Bushes (1988), Philomena's Revenge (1993), Higher Purchase (1997), An Awful Racket (2001), Throw in the Vowels (2005), Hurting God (2010), Ireland is Changing Mother (2011), and Tongulish (2016). Hurting God is an autobiographical work that includes both prose and poetry. It was controversial in the Higgins family. After reading an advance copy, Higgins' brother Joe threatened to sue over the content of an essay about him and their mother. Higgins removed the offending passages, the book was republished in its edited form, and nearly 900 copies of the original printing were destroyed. Themes in Higgins poetry include Women's rights, Irish politics, poverty, and personal experiences such as the death of her brother Tony, her struggle with tuberculosis, and her international travels. The subseries also contains front matter, proofs, and book covers for the volumes, though the only material in the series pertaining to Sunny Side Plucked (1997) are book covers. All drafts of poems are included with the collection in which they were first published. There are additional unidentified, unpublished collections that contain poems arranged together by Higgins. The container list includes nontes to indicate when drafts of multiple poems appear together on a page.

Arrangement Note

Collections are arranged in chronological order by date of publication. Individual poem drafts are arranged in alphabetical order by poem title. Proofs, front matter, and book covers are arranged in alphabetical order after the poem drafts.

Processing Note

The collections in this subseries are arranged according to publication date, including the poems in the collection published in Higgins' 2016 volume Tongulish. However, all of the drafts in this subseries were written prior to 2011 when the Rose Library acquired the Higgins papers.

Goddess on the Mervue Bus (1986)
Box Folder Content
33 1 "All Buckled Up in the Industrial Estate"
33 2 "Almost Communication"
33 3 "Annaghmakerrig"
33 4 "The Apprentices"
33 5 "The Benevolent Coat Saver in Black"
33 6 "Consumptive in the Library"

Also includes "Dead Dogs and Nations" drafts

33 7 "Evangeline"
33 8 "Goddess on the Mervue Bus"
33 9 "It's About Time"
33 10 "Lizzie Kavanagh"

Also includes "Evangeline" drafts

33 11 "Lotus Easter from Bohermore"

Also includes an untitled poem draft

33 12 "Middle-aged Irish Mothers"
33 13 "Mona"
33 14 "Ode to Rahoon Flats"
33 15 "Old Friend"

Also includes "Memory" drafts

33 16 "Poetry Doesn't Pay"
33 17 "Power Cut"
33 18 "Secrets"
33 19 "Seventeen Times Upon A Time For You"
33 20 "She Never Heard of Cromwell"
33 21 "The Syrup of Longevity"
33 22 "Sunny Side Plucked"

Also includes an untitled poem draft

33 23 "Tommy's Wife"
33 24 "Unnecessary Work"
33 25 "Work On"

Also includes "Broken Spirit" drafts

33 26 Book covers
Witch in the Bushes (1988)
33 27 "All Because We're Working Class"
33 28 "Anything is Better Than Emptying Bins"
33 29 "Barmen of Sexford"
33 30 "Blanket Man"
33 31 "Daughter Of The Falls Road"
33 32 "The Did-you-come-yets Of The Western World"
33 33 "Dog Is Dog Is Dog"

Also includes "Power Cut" drafts

33 34 "End Of A Free Ride"
33 35 "He Fought Pigeons Arses Didn't He?"
33 36 "His Mother Was The Problem With His Veins"

Also includes notes about Face Licker Come Home

33 37 "The K.K.K. Of Kastle Park"

Also includes an untitled poem draft

33 38 "Men With Tired Hair"
33 39 "No Balls At All"
33 40 "No Bliss In Newbliss"

Also includes "Limits" draft and an untitled poem draft

33 41 "Old Soldier"

Also includes "Every Second Sunday" drafts

33 42 "Oracle Readers"
33 43 "Peter Picasso"

Also includes "Greed" drafts

33 44 "Power of the Poet"
33 45 "The Rat Catchers"

Also includes "The Blanket Man," "Hunk in the Phonebox," and "The Shop Detective in Easons Let On To Be Customers" drafts

33 46 "Second Thoughts"
33 47 "Secret Lovers"

Also includes "She Saved Them From the Bridge" and "The Priest Is Coming We Can Feel It In Our Bones" drafts

33 48 "She Is Not Afraid Of Burglars"
33 49 "Some People"
33 50 "The Tell Tattler"
33 51 "It Wasn't The Father's Fault"

Also includes "What's His Name Was a Gravy Trainer" drafts

33 52 "I Went To School With You"

Also includes "Peter Picasso" drafts

33 53 "Witch in the Bushes"

Also includes "Hurricane In A Tea Cup" drafts

33 54 "Woman's Inhumanity to Woman"
33 55 Book covers
33 56 Table of contents drafts
Philomena's Revenge (1993)
33 57 "Between Them"

Also includes "Trapped Doctor on Cork To Galway Bus" and "People Who Wear Cardigans Are Subversive" drafts

33 58 "Butter Balls"
33 59 "Cloud Talker"
33 60 "Crooked Smiles"
33 61 "Dead Dogs And Nations"

Also includes "The German For Stomach" drafts

33 62 "The Deserter"
33 63 "Every Second Sunday"
33 64 "Flight Of Pearls"
33 65 "Forgotten Prisoner"
33 66 "Four Steps Nowhere"
33 67 "God Dodgers Anonymous"

Also includes "Voice Over The Phone" drafts

33 68 "H-Block Shuttle"
33 69 "He Leaves The Ironing Board Open"

Also includes "Old Timers" drafts

33 70 "Him And His Terrier"
33 71 "His Mother Won't Die"

Also includes "The Blanket Man" drafts

33 72 "His Shoulder Blades And Rome"
33 73 "Hurricane In A Tea-Cup"

Also includes an untitled play draft.

33 74 "If You Want To Get Closer To God"
33 75 "I'll Have To Stop Thinking About Sex"
33 76 "It's Platonic"
33 77 "I Want To Make Love To Kim Basinger"
33 78 "Jackdaw Jaundice"
33 79 "Light Of The Moon"
33 80 "Limits"

Also includes "Daughter Of The Falls Road" drafts

33 81 "Misogynist"
33 82 "Name Calling"
33 83 "New York"
33 84 "Old Timers"

Also includes "Gloria Love, Let On I'm Fall" (?) drafts

33 85 "People Who Wear Cardigans Are Subversive"
33 86 "Philomena's Revenge"
33 87 "The Power Of Prayer"
34 1 "Questionnaire After Leaving Ailiwee Caves"
34 2 "Rain And Smart Alec Kids"
34 3 "Rat-Like Dogs And Tattooed Men"
34 4 "Reading"
34 5 "Safe Houses"

Also includes "Progression" drafts

34 6 "Space Invader"
34 7 "They Believe in Clint Eastwood"

Also includes "H-Block Shuttle" drafts

34 8 "A Time For Praise"

Also includes an untitled play draft

34 9 "Trapped Doctor On Cork To Dublin Bus"
34 10 "Voice Over The Phone"

Also includes "God Dodgers Anonymous" drafts

34 11 "Waiting"
34 12 "Way To Go"

Also includes "I'll Have To Stop Thinking About Sex" draft and an untitled poem draft

34 13 "The Woman Who Lived Here"
34 14 Book covers
34 15 Table of contents drafts
34 16 Proofs
Sunny Side Plucked (1997)
34 17 Book covers
Higher Purchase (1997)
34 18 "Always A Bridesmaid"
34 19 "The Apple Tart Man"
34 20 "Breech"

Also includes notes about "One for the Bus" and "Changes Buses at Athlone"

34 21 "Burnt Offering"
34 22 "Changing Buses at Athlone"
34 23 "Delphi Lodge"
34 24 "Diana Arrives At Monaghan Branch Library"

Also includes "Pope John xxiii" draft and an untitled play draft

34 25 "Diotima Quirke"
34 26 "Donna Laura"
34 27 "Easy Rider"
34 28 "The Flogger"
34 29 "The Flute Girl's Dialogue"
34 30 "Gretta's Hex"
34 31 "He Could Get Radio Prague"
34 32 "He Is Not Thinking About Last Night"
34 33 "Higher Purchase"
34 34 "Impact '92"
34 35 "The Longford Slasher"
34 36 "Mamorexia"

Also includes table of contents notes

34 37 "Mothercare"
34 38 "The Nebulizer Gang"
34 39 "A Neck Ahead"
34 40 "Night Noon And Nora"
34 41 "One For The Bus"
34 42 "The Priest Is Coming We Can Feel It In Our Bones"
34 43 "Prism"
34 44 "The Quarrel"
34 45 "Remapping The Borders"
34 46 "Spiked"

Also includes "Changing Buses At Atlone" draft and notes for "The Flute Girl's Dialogue"

34 47 "The Taxi Man Knows"
34 48 "The Temptation Of Phillida"
34 49 "The Thistles"
34 50 "Tongue In Cheek"
34 51 "The Trouble With Karen Reilly"
34 52 "The Walkers"
34 53 "When The Big Boys Pulled Out"
34 54 "When It Comes To The Crutch"
34 55 "Whiplashed"
34 56 "The Winner"
34 57 "Writer in Residence"

Also includes an untitled poem draft

35 1 Proofs
35 2 Table of contents drafts
35 3 Title page and acknowledgements
An Awful Racket (2001)
35 4 "Anthem"
35 5 "April Fool's Day In Jerusalem"
35 6 "An Awful Racket"
35 7 "The Bag Boat"
35 8 "Bare Bones"
35 9 "Black Dog In My Docs Day"
35 10 "The Chamber Pit"
35 11 "The Clemson Experience"
35 12 "City Slicker"

Also includes "Bikers" and untitled poem drafts

35 13 "For Crying Out Loud"

Also includes "Bare Bones" and untitled poem drafts

35 14 "The Fracture"
35 15 "Good Friday In Majorca"

Also includes "Why I Refuse To Be Gracious" draft

35 16 "He Knows About Cars"
35 17 "Hey Greggie"
35 18 "The Jugglers"

Also includes "Black Dogs In My Docs Day" draft

35 19 "The Lads Said He Was A Sissy"
35 20 "Lucky Mrs. Higgins"
35 21 "Mother And Son"

Also includes "Why I Refuse To Be Gracious" draft

35 22 "My Face Goes Scarlet"
35 23 "Our Brother The Pope"
35 24 "Our Mothers Die On Days Like This"
35 25 "Pater"
35 26 "The River"
35 27 "The Sentence"
35 28 "Soft As Putty"
35 29 "She Believed In Miracles"
35 30 "Snakes And Ladders"
35 31 "Succubus And Her Sister"
35 32 "They Always Get Curried Chips"
35 33 "They Never Clapped"
35 34 "They Never Wear Coats"
35 35 "The Visionary"
35 36 "The Weather Beaters"
35 37 "Why I Refuse To Be Gracious"

Also includes "Mother and Son" draft

35 38 "You'd Know He Had A Lovely Mother"
35 39 Table of contents drafts
Throw in the Vowels (2005)
35 40 "After Dinner Speaker"

Also includes notes for An Awful Racket

35 41 "Ambrose Had A Big Heart"

Also includes "Hands" draft

35 42 "Anto's Inferno"
35 43 "The Cover-Up"
35 44 "The Doppelganger"
35 45 "Dry-Mouthed And Melancholy"
35 46 "Fugued"
35 47 "Grandchildren"
35 48 "The Hedger"
35 49 "His I's Were Empty"
36 1 "Janus"
36 2 "The Liberator"
36 3 "Loquacia I Spake"
36 4 "My Lucky Number"
36 5 "Nikita"
36 6 "No Chance Encounters"

Written for Anthony Higgins following his death

36 7 "Perdition"
36 8 "The Real Mourners"
36 9 "Rolled-Up Race Card Days"
36 10 "Return To Sender"
36 11 "The Servers"

Also includes an untitled poem draft

36 12 "Terminus"
36 13 "That Shower"
36 14 "They Had No Song"
36 15 "Throw In The Vowels"
36 16 "Wasting Time"
36 17 "The World Is Getting Smaller"
36 18 Proofs, 2004 November [1 of 2]
36 19 Proofs, 2004 November [2 of 2]
36 20 Proofs, 2005 March [1 of 2]
36 21 Proofs, 2005 March [2 of 2]
36 22 Table of contents draft
Hurting God (2010)
36 23 "Ask The Concierge"
36 24 "Borders"
36 25 "Brides Of The Stich in Time"
36 26 "Crocodile Tears"
36 27 "The Darkness"
36 28 "Easy Peasy Bóithrín And Bog"
37 1 "The Faraways"
37 2 "A Future Pickled With Funerals"

Also includes "Unadorned" draft

37 3 "Hurting God"
37 4 "Malaga O' Malaga"

Also includes "The Squaking" draft

37 5 "Melancholy In The T.B. Ward"
37 6 "The Púca"
37 7 "This Was No Ithaca"
37 8 "Unadorned"
37 9 Introduction draft [written by Karen Steele]
37 10 Notes
37 11 Proofs, 2010 August
37 12 Table of contents draft
Ireland is Changing Mother (2011)
37 13 "The Brent Geese Chorus"
37 14 "The Builder's Mess"
37 15 "Burden Of Proof"
37 16 "Chinese Notebook"
37 17 "The Darkness"
37 18 "Dirty Dancer"
37 19 "Edict"
37 20 "Fahrenheit"
37 21 "The Fates"
37 22 "Gawkers"
37 23 "Guilty"
37 24 "Hangovers Never Touched Him"
37 25 "Hasta Libido Baby"
37 26 "He Knows No Artichokes"
37 27 "He Was No Lazarus"
37 28 "Houdini"
37 29 "The Immortals"
37 30 "Ireland Is Changing Mother"
37 31 "Lottie Kelly Hot"
37 32 "No One Mentioned The Roofer"
37 33 "No Pity For Polyneices"
37 34 "Òileán Na nDeor"
37 35 "O Sole Mio"
37 36 "The Perfect Lash"
37 37 "The Prophet"
37 38 "Spectre"
37 39 "TD On Local Radio re Expenses"
37 40 "Sea Dog"
37 41 "Tongued And Grooved"
37 42 "Where Have All Our Scullions Gone"
37 43 "Whitethorn"

Also includes "Cuckoo" and "He Was No Lazarus" drafts

37 44 Proofs
38 1 Table of contents draft
Tongulish (2016)
38 2 "Chaste"
38 3 "Cutting Edge"

Though this volume was published in 2016, the drafts of "Chaste" and "Cutting Edge" were written prior to 2011 when the Rose Library acquired the Higgins papers.

Unidentified Collections
38 4 Unidentified collections [1 of 2]
38 5 Unidentified collections [2 of 2]
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