Songs for Ireland is an experimental, interdisciplinary work, drawing on McClean’s practices as writer and artist film-maker. It is a motley hybrid of voices and modes that satirically styles itself as a cartoonish call and response, a polyvocal tech startup melodrama, a Wi-Fi, Sci-Fi comic hallucination. Exploding the boundaries of the form and style of traditional poetry collections, Songs for Ireland is a radical rethinking of poetic practices, characterised by its energetic humour and McClean’s unique, distinctive, idiosyncratic voice. Songs for Irelandis the third book from Irish writer and audio-visual artist Robert Herbert McClean, following his debut poetry collection, Pangs! (Test Centre, 2015) and his prose chapbook Skrubolz Garbillkore (Book Works, 2018).
Robert Herbert McClean, an Irish writer and audio-visual artist, was a finalist for the Arts Foundation Futures Awards Poetry Fellowship, 2019. His debut book, Pangs!, was published by Test Centre in 2015. His most recent publication, Skrubolz Garbillkore was commissioned and edited by Maria Fusco as part of the Dialecty series, published by Book Works, in association with The Common Guild, in 2018.
Prototype was founded in 2019 by Jess Chandler, co-founder of the independent publishing houses Test Centre and House Sparrow Press. Established to continue and develop the work begun by Test Centre, Prototype is committed to creating new possibilities in the publishing of fiction and poetry through a flexible, interdisciplinary approach. Each publication is unique in its form and presentation, and the aesthetic of each object is considered critical to its production. Through the discovery of high quality work across genres, Prototype strives to increase audiences for experimental writing, as the home for writers and artists whose work requires a creative vision not offered by mainstream literary publishers. In its current, evolving form, Prototype consists of four strands of publications: (type 1 // poetry) / (type 2 // prose) / (type 3 // interdisciplinary projects) / (type 4 // anthologies) including an annual anthology of new work, PROTOTYPE.