Black Irish

By Dennis Doherty

Subjects: Poetry
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9781930337916, 68 pages, December 2016

Table of contents

Black Irish

Legend Tripping


If You Have Sex with a Virgin You’ll Be Cured of AIDS

Enlistment in a Cold Time, 1977

Men Aloft

Yes, Hell, Little Darlin’: USS Lockwood, Yokosuka, 1980

Navy Wives

The Last Time My Heart Was Broken

Young Ones


Molly, Annealed

The Original

In Mountain Laurel Time

On Poetry and Dreams

Losing Context

Cyber Humanities

Safe Spaces

To Be a Poem

After Snowstorm

Hope Springs Eternal, or Winter in the Dread Year of 2015

Windy Campus Morning, March

Brown Spring


Lyric and blank verse poetry sifting darkness in the author’s life and in the lives of others, both real and imagined.


"My mother said I had it

my father's Black Irish.

She loved him powerfully,

as she did me. Still, I

knew that couldn't be good,

the way she said it, a disease.

But what exactly did it mean?"

— from "Black Irish"

Often in narrative mode and spilled in blank verse, these poems examine both personal history and shifting parameters of social codes of conduct, the tension between the public and private life. They yearn to love and celebrate human connection, but remain aware of the sometimes tenuous, even dangerous, vagaries of perception, understanding, and motive.

Dennis Doherty teaches creative writing and literature at the State University of New York at New Paltz and lives with his wife in Rosendale, New York. His books of poetry include Fugitive and Crush Test.