Winner of the RL Poetry Award, 2016 International Category
"Somewhere but not here is an intimate collection that whisks the reader around the world, taking in North Korea, Gaza, India, Syria, Boston, Nigeria and Prague. It’s a thoughtful, philosophical collection of poems which never strays far from concrete description and memorable images. It records some of the most heinous acts people are capable of, but also documents the spirit of those who face adversity. Above all, it’s a collection brimming with skill and compassion."
Trevor Conway – Author of ‘Evidence of Freewheeling’
With fresh, plain-spoken elegance and tender courage, Stephen Byrne tells the stories of our fear and our humanity, of unimaginable loss and of love. These resolute poems reclaim the dignity of the broken and healing heart, and the certainty of becoming forever. We share in the poet’s empathetic vision—the desperation of a father struggling to wake his dead child, the dance of the strawberries spilling memories into the soil and plotting the next harvest. There is no pretending or pretense, no shadow that does not reveal. Celebrating those we love, we see those we have loved “swaying as if waving,” as they reach to take our hand.
William O’Daly – Poet and translator of Pablo Neruda, Author of ‘Water Ways’
“Stephen Byrne is an absolute exception among his generation of Irish poets. He is the poet Lorca (or Neruda) could have been, if either of them had had the good fortune to grow up on a large public housing estate on Dublin’s Northside. Byrne’s influences are international in a way that makes most of his contemporaries look like backwoods men (and women). His poems are complex works of striking lyrical beauty.”
Kevin Higgins – Poet, Essayist, Author of Song of Songs 2.0: New & Selected Poems
There is immense sensitivity and content in Stephen Byrne's poetry. No jarring notes, no awkward crunches in articulation - he has the 'pace of stillness'. His words settle like smooth pools of water in the rough craters of the mind.
Vinita Agrawal - Author of 'The Silk of Hunger'