Twenty-six Letters of a New Alphabet

These compelling, beautiful poems reveal a poet who has long found an original footing in the society in which she lives, finding in it a source of inspiration. Anne Tannam is energetically aware of the global sphere of injustice and beauty, of unfair destinies and healing gestures. Festivals and birthday celebrations register as sources for connecting with the life-force in all its forms, but also with mother-love. Mid-life is evoked as an opportunity for renewal, the universe leaning across the table,/gesturing with both hands,/eager to fill me in, and a possible breast tumour occupies the same space as Schrödinger’s Cat.

Elsewhere in this book, Yeats’ hazel wood still lives through a hazel sapling which unfurls an alphabet of hope. The redressing voice of inner charity at work in her lines raises hurt and loss from the silt of memory and creates something serene with it. Dublin viewed as a local space is suggestively evoked in images and visions of people she has loved. And it is this tender voice that conspires with other, socially-engaged poems, creating an authentic collection that will speak to readers everywhere. 

                                                 Mary O'Donnell

                                                                Poet & Author 

Anne Tannam's beautiful collection, Twenty-six Letters of a New Alphabet, invites the reader to reflect on the quiet joys of daily living - swans on the canal, the comfort of home - but does not shy away from the challenges that make up the fabric of a life.  The poet turns her brave, unflinching gaze upon the inevitable sorrows of ageing and bereavement with an understated self-awareness that will speak to all readers. There is deep empathy here for the plight of those who have no home and those who have fled their homes in search of shelter. This collection offers a collage of experience, where conversations with the dead, memories and meditations on the present are woven together in a kind of stock-taking, looking back over the rites of passage on the journey, and those yet to come. A heart-warming collection, full of wit and wisdom.


Liz McSkeane

Author & Owner of Turas Press

Anne Tannam is a poet of honesty and intimacy; the poems in this new collection, written with a distinctive diamond clarity and seamlessly linked, create the feeling of a lifelong conversation with a trusted friend; the concatenation of love, loss and essential silence.    

Maurice Devitt 

Author of Growing Up in Colour


Tides Shifting Across My Sitting Room Floor

A profound and tender read that requires cups of tea, a sense of humour and a packet of tissues. At turns comforting and heart-breaking, the poems address life and death without sentimentality as the poet skillfully navigates relationships with loved ones, herself and the world around her with a conversational ease that left me stumped. There are few collections of poetry that have touched me so deeply.


Alvy Carragher

Author of Falling in Love with Broken Things and The Cantankerous Molly Darling

Anne Tannam's 'Tides Shifting Across My Sitting Room Floor' maps loss and grieving, navigating through their disorientating effects, charting them with the eye of a careful documentarian. There is something universal captured in the specific and the deeply personal. The reader comes away feeling that the poet is working hard to sift lessons from all this loss so that she can share them with us, a worthwhile and generous lesson.


Grace Wilentz

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 128


Take This Life

The poems do indeed reflect her life and she takes her inspiration wherever she can find it. This may be the stray lyric of a song, an overheard conversation or a piece of writing. The poems reflect Tannam as a child, a mother, a friend, and simply as a human being. ….. she assembles an array of varied, often provoking images in her poems.  BOOKS IRELAND