ALBUM 2015




ALBUM 2010












Eduardo Acosta Bentos
[visual-artist and performance-artist]
Montevideo, Uruguay

“I've read attentively the poems of Séamas
Cain and although they're not written in my
mother-language I do understand the poetic
and literary quality of the author (I think
he's young).  The ecological subjects are
fundamental for a better comprehension of
the eco-system.  I'm glad that I read these
poems as I understood the purposes of INDEX
author for me and tell him to go ahead with
that kind of publication.  Regards.”


Stephen Adams,
Professor Emeritus of the
Department of English at the
University of Minnesota, Duluth

“I have been exploring the poems
of Séamas Cain for the past few weeks.
What vivid, riveting, and disturbing images!
I hope these wonderful poems get the wide
readership that they should have.”


David Braden [poet]
Oakland, California

“I don't know how good a judge I am
of the poetry of others.  I like what
I like and I hate what I don't like.
I like the work of Séamas Cain.  Why?
The rich language that puts me in a
place and time for a moment, then —
with a word — yanks me to another
place and time.  ‘Bowstrings and
mistletoe’ take me to Sherwood Forest,
‘radium’ yanks me into the atomic age,
or at least to Madame Curie's laboratory.
This is the kind of effect I get from
reading Thomas Pynchon.  It creates an
‘in-between’ place.

“This may not be Cain's intention or
purpose in writing a poem, but that's
just my impression.  His web-site looks
real good.  The art in particular works
nicely with the written work, and doesn't
drown the words out either!  I look forward
to reading more of Séamas Cain's work.”


John Bradley [poet]
Northern Illinois University,
DeKalb, Illinois

“Across the corn.  Rave on.

“I had no idea how active Séamas Cain has been
in theater!  His resume makes me feel like I've
been asleep for the past thirty some years.
Very impressive.

“I can still remember an Easter play of Cain,
in Duluth, lo, all those centuries ago.  In 1969.
It was simple, powerful, and profound.

“The voice in the poetry of Séamas Cain is
doing something fresh.  I don't often feel that
way about contemporary American poetry.
I like his mix of landscape, body, abstractions,
ritual, myth.

“Rave on, Séamas!”


Gloria DeFilipps Brush [photographer]
Professor of the Department of Art at the
University of Minnesota, Duluth

“It is with much enthusiasm and appreciation
that I write my thanks for the publication efforts
with Séamas Cain's INDEX OF REFRACTION
and BIRD'S FOOT.  I was most happy to have the
opportunity to read these two chapbooks and
found them to be vital and compelling, filled
with vivid imagery.  As a visual artist I
particularly respond to the changing and
flowing pictorial qualities which Cain's
work prompts.  I would like to see the
publication of other works by this gifted


Arturas Bumsteinas [composer]
Vilnius, Lithuania

“I read the poems of Séamas Cain with
attention.  It took me a few hours to
read the work INDEX OF REFRACTION,
because it's not really the easiest
form of literature.  I enjoyed the
dark colours and found a very
interesting aspect to the poems.
INDEX varies between two illusions —
an unusual surrealism, and collage
poetry.  Maybe the poems weren't
constructed with such intention,
but for me that was the most
exciting experience in the text.
Thank you.  Best regards!”


Tom Cassidy
[poet, and performance artist]
Minneapolis, Minnesota

“What an extraordinary talent to be
hiding here in Minnesota.  This is the
sort of connection that makes the internet
palatable and important.  I put up with
hundreds of bogus lackluster lit-spewing
e-mail leads for exactly this sort of
connection.  Tight, smart poetry and
great visuals.”


Adrianne Chapin [visual artist]
Hayward, California
“Thank you for the poetry of Séamas Cain.
It lightened my day!”


Virginia Valentine Coles [surrealist]
Charlottesville, Virginia

“Reading Séamas Cain is an extraordinary
flight into surrealism.  Words escape me,
especially in the light of a master wordsmith.
The only real way I have of exhibiting my love
and — more importantly — respect for his work
is to put a link from my site to his.  Our paths
will now be crossed in cyberspace.  Peace!”


Julia Cummins [archivist]
The National Library of Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

“The books of Séamas Cain are beautiful books.
They are a pleasure to work with.”


Thomas Davis [poet]
on the Door County Peninsula,
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

“Reading the poetry of Séamas Cain
can be as difficult as finding your way
through a labyrinth.  Images become
symbols which then have a referent that
is inside Cain's psyche, but is not
necessarily accessible to the reader.
Several of our most famous writers pursue
the same muse.  You can come to terms with
John Ashbery if you really want to work at
it, but you have to work.  Poets have always
delved into themselves.  John Keats's ODE TO
MELANCHOLY gives us some of the most powerful
insights into depression available.  But modern
poets often encode what they have to say into
images and symbols that sing from experiences
and insights that can be related to, but only
after an intense decoding process.

“What is powerful about Cain's work
is the rush of startlingly original
images:  ‘blood of the mallard is/ancient
waves, bitter pounding,’ he writes in THE
UNSILENCEABLE BELL.  Wow!  ‘i had thought
that/dragonflies were the sun’ he says in
rose-throated becard/screamed herself
into/skin entangled by/ice’ he notes

“Often Cain seems intoxicated by the
rush of images, symbols, and referents:
In QUALMS, the cacophonies of images
tumble over each other, rushing headlong
toward a climaxing image that seems to
mark who he is as a man.  Point/counterpoint —
winging through disparate images and meaning
that reach and reach until, finally, he has
become in the poem what he wants expressed.
This is not either an easy, or comfortable,
vocabulary — stars, shouts and hails, a rook,
fireworks, rice, lightning, tormented dolphins,
hailstones, soaring, unloosing — until, in his
intoxication of images, he believes that he
could throw down a star.

“But what does Cain mean with all of
these images that are symbols?  After
reading most of what is available on
this website, I came to the conclusion
that he is trying to show the unity of
the world and universe, ‘hanuman,’ as he
more even than the human/animal roots of
his personal word.  For inside the ‘hanuman’
of his universe are mountains, stars, blossoms,
and the whole mixture of the universe and even
the supernatural world thrown together,
forcibly, sometimes angrily, sometimes
in an ugly way, sometimes beautifully.
And this washing machine tumbling of
images ends up expressing that unity
that is still mysteriously disunited
and oppositional.

“Cain's poetry begs the question, what is
the purpose of poetry?  Is it to delight?
Inform?  Explore?  Mean?  Is it palpable
like fruit as Archibald MacLeish insisted?
I recognize what he has written as poetry.
I, personally, would find more clarity more
comfortable.  But still, he made me see with
intoxicated eyes even though, in these times,
I am most sober.”


Willem den Broeder [visual artist]
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

“I am very impressed by the last
passage of the poem WAR; it is
very beautiful.  And I love the
poem TOMORROW!  More strongly, I love
RAZORS and all the other poems from
Cain's mind!  I have a deep respect
for the architecture of Cain's mind,
that he should speak with his own words!
I also love the illustrations by the
artist J. Doroff Tanner.”


Marcello Diotallevi
[sculptor and painter]
Fano, Pesaro, Italy

“Some weeks ago I read the INDEX OF
REFRACTION by Séamas Cain.  It seems to
me to be very interesting.  The background
is certainly near symbolism but the breath
— the breathing — is strictly contemporary.
It is a hymn to nature (Is Cain influenced
by the Italian poet Dino Campana?) which
has as its protagonists many animals,
vegetables, minerals, but whose center
is human!  The poems I prefer are ‘The
egg in metal coils,’ ‘The stone lanterns,’
and ‘The perfect serpent,’ because they
are much more exciting.”


John Dunne [actor]
Galway, Ireland

“I am pleased by the poems of
Séamas Cain.  The imagery seems
fascinating, and poignant!”


William I. Elliott [poet]
Director of the Poetry Center,
Kanto Gakuin University,
Mutsuura, Kanazawa-ku,
Yokohama, Japan

“I recently read and enjoyed two Séamas
Cain chapbooks, especially INDEX OF REFRACTION.
Although I think he needs to rein in some of his
enthusiasm, Mr. Cain is — in the good sense of
the word — drunk on words.  Sincerely!”


Arturo Fallico [visual artist]
Saratoga, California

“I found the poem booklet ‘INDEX OF
REFRACTION’ very interesting as well
as original in prose-poetry.”


Peter Finch [Prif Weithredwr]
Former Chief Executive of
Yr Academi Gymreig [The Welsh Academi]
First CEO of Literature Wales ...
Caerdydd [Cardiff], Wales

“Impressive!  Good poetry and graphics!”


Sarah Fox [poet]
2002 Bush Foundation Fellow in Poetry
Minneapolis, Minnesota

“I think the Poems of Séamas Cain web-site
is beautiful — very well designed, very
accessible, and the poems are simply lovely!
Thanks!  I will forward information about
this web-site to other poets.”


Jim Ganahl [poet]
Ely, Minnesota

“Séamas Cain seems to have inherited the
music and imagery of Gerard Manley Hopkins,
the playfulness of James Joyce, and the
sensual complexity of William Burroughs.
In artistic terms his poems are assemblages,
mixed media pieces, which are better suited
for experience than understanding.  Cain and
I definitely agree about one of the basic
tools of poetry.  We both put a big emphasis
on the music of our language.  After that,
he likes to be mysterious while I try to be
as clear as a photograph.  It's the difference
between assemblage and super realism, or
something like that.  Nevertheless, it
pleased me a great deal to see his delightful
mysteries once again.  It was wonderful of him
to introduce me to his ibises and zebras and


Wendell P. Glick, editor
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

“I have read the little volume of poems INDEX
OF REFRACTION, by Séamas Cain.  I count it a
remarkable and daring achievement, by a poet
who is clearly very gifted and insightful.
I applaud the Silver Birch Press for the
willingness to publish it, for the audience
for such brilliant work is patently small,
and the justification has to be aesthetic
rather than economic.  Though I know nothing
of Cain's plan for a sequel, I hope the
relationship of the Silver Birch Press
with him will continue, to mutual benefit,
and the benefit of readers.”


Roger Hanson [color expressionist]
Hutchinson, Minnesota

“The poetry of Séamas Cain is inciteful,
intense and imbued with understanding of
the reality within and around us.”


Jeff Harrison [poet]
Dardanelle, Arkansas

“Another excellent poet is Séamas Cain ...
His lines are worlds of their own, a sign of
true poetry.  He's also one of the best
theatre authors around.”


Helen Hoff [photographer]
Casper, Wyoming

“I am writing with regard to the ‘INDEX OF
REFRACTION’ by Séamas Cain.  I prefer
poetry simple and straightforward.  This
is thicker than an Irish brogue to
understand, but just as musical if you
don't wrestle with it and just let the
words flow over you.  That is, I enjoyed
the way it was said, rather than digesting
what was said.  Reading it was like wading
through molasses, re-reading it was a joy.
I ate it for the initial taste sensation, not
the later impact on digestion.  There were
a number of morsels I found especially tasty.”


Frank Hoffman
[painter, and poet]
Rosemount, Minnesota

“The imagery of Séamas Cain is poignant
and beautiful — wonderful metaphors — I'm
absolutely mesmerized by some of his word
choices and image juxtapositions.  Ah so good
to read his work!  So pleased he hasn't quit
or given in to commercial dictates — as so
many I used to know seem to have done.”


Cene gál István [painter]
Cered, Hungary

“I read the poems of Séamas Cain.
I am glad for these works!”


Kedrick James [poet]
Editor of ANERCA,
Vancouver, British Columbia,

is great, myth language dream, etc., but quite
evenly modulated in pace/rhythm tone and skew —
a fairly consistent cant which shows that Cain
is working in a directed frame of mind and with
particular intent — although that means one
tends to approach the poems singly rather
than read through the books as a ‘piece.’
Also the form Cain generally uses feels
‘tight,’ restrained, i.e., the page is
merely a place for receiving ink, words,
not used to create a gesture of the eyes.
The way he stacks up commas approximates
such gestures.  The whole thing very much
adamic the naming of internities, primal,
but how to overcome the entropy naming
incurs, and integrate the transient images?


John Kennedy
[novelist, and poet]
Dublin, Ireland

“Thanks for the poems of Séamas Cain!
He has a vivid, if stark, style.  I liked
the last part of WAR and the lace-maker
section of HISTORIES.  I write love poetry
mostly, so the emphasis on nature alone
without the softer humanity wouldn't
altogether appeal to me.  Cain's poetry
errs on the complex side; most popular
poetry is more accessible.  He may not
want that, of course; he wants to be
true to the artist in him.  I published
three books since November 2000: one a
literary novel entitled AFTER MEN AFTER
WOMEN.  Next up will be the poetry
collection and a novella.  When Cain is
in Dublin, we can meet up and exchange
literary criticism and even books.
Best wishes!”


Linda Kinnunen [photographer]
Tucson, Arizona

“I enjoy the use of word imagery by Séamas
Cain.  He is a brilliant writer.”


Sharon F. Kissane, Ph.D.,
South Barrington, Illinois

is a joy to read and re-read.  His allegorical
style, rich in animal imagery, causes one
to pause and reflect.  I feel Cain's voice is
unique and has some of the fetching quality of
Dylan Thomas.  In poems such as ‘The Emerald
Stone,’ Cain employs the repetitive technique
of Gertrude Stein ala: ‘sky is green green
cormorant green.’  Memorable lines abound
throughout this chapbook.  I like the stirring
introductory lines to ‘The Delectable Mountain
& The Silver Mountain.’  I am proud to possess
a copy of this chapbook and I hope to enjoy
future chapbooks from this gifted poet.”


Edward O. Knowlton [visual artist]
Malden, Massachusetts

“Autumn Greetings!  This previous week
I had the pleasure to read two chapbooks
of poetry by a certain Séamas Cain then
published by the Silver Birch Press and
the Duluth Art Institute.  After scanning
the material in poet Cain's chapbooks I
sense that he's developed a sincere
dedication that allows him to express
language in refined and beautiful styles.
Out of my opinion, poet Cain has the
ability to bring color to a variety of
the more disenchanting aspects of existence
which are often difficult to ignore.  Indeed,
Cain creates an inward power of attraction to
everything he writes of.  I trust that readers
will consider his further works as they may
hopefully continue.  You've made a truly
fruitful selection.”


Márton Koppány [poet]
Director of the Institute of
Broken and Reduced Languages,
Budapest, Hungary

“Re:  the marsh-hen dies among the
crickets!  I've been reading the poems
of Séamas Cain with real interest —
and with two huge dictionary-volumes
on my lap.  But as I see and/or feel,
imagine — Cain represents with great
precision and with a good deal of
existential humor the averbally —
or, better, aconceptually — rich
flora and fauna of THIS moment...”


Dennis Koran [poet]
Los Angeles, California

“I enjoyed reading the poems of Séamas
Cain.  I wish him luck in his endeavors.”


Jeffery Lewis [poet]
Minong, Wisconsin

“I read sizable portions of Séamas Cain's
work.  BIRD'S FOOT, the first book I read,
has no personal pronoun or focused point of
view in it.  Poems are like tortured dream
landscapes, inscapes with a real Boschian feel,
flare, where things just happen.  There is
evidence of acute intelligence and poetic
‘gift’ in the original and often beautiful
imagery — but I don't really like the surreal
landscapes and obviously intentional
impersonality of the writing.

“The second book I read, INDEX OF REFRACTION,
more recent, is quite different, and much more
likeable.  Something seems to have happened to
Cain between the two books.  He now uses, albeit
tentatively, a small ‘i’ to focus the poems.
Also, instead of a dangerously berserk
poetic-spirit-body landscape moving to some
‘golden spur’ of an unintelligible whim,
there's now — something different — a sense
of a personal anchor set down in the roiling
metaphysical, a planet as alien as any in any
solar system.  I can't discern, given Cain's
very personal use of imagery, precisely what
it is that has happened.  Personal agony for
one thing.  Maybe it is also a matter of form
as he's dropped all poetic artifice including
the annoying capital letters that began each
line in BIRD'S FOOT.  This makes these newer
poems easier to read, more engaging.  There's
a torment here — almost of — words, of language,
of the body of language — of the Holy Ghost
becoming animal becoming symbol becoming tendon
in some awful alchemical process.  Perhaps
there's a sense of the Word gone mad, insane,
no creator reining it in, no human creator
daring to assert order here.  There is also
hatred for the flesh, flesh a trap — for
light?  Angel trapped in rhino, Passion
trapped in tropism, Dylan Thomas lost and
drunk in a Ford factory, the singing being
processed by robot welders, earthquakes in
old testaments, horror dipped in varnish to
make it forever.  And an ‘i’ in here.  But an
unconvinced i, ego.  Maybe a slight recovery
of the metaphysical will in the berserk semen
of God.  But still the small i fears to touch,
blames itself for nightmare metamorphoses that
are not its fault.  The small i still unwilling
to turn all this Spirit upside-down and call it
flesh, call it all flesh, even the metaphysical,
not Holy Ghost, not God's Word.  I sense a
capital ‘I’ as a potentially revolutionary act
in these visions, an assertion of divine power,
a cure for the Fall.

“I hope this reading does some ‘justice’
to Cain's intent.  I think he is a poet
of considerable power!”


James Liddy [poet]
County Wexford,

“I am thankful for the poetry
of Séamas Cain!”


[environmental artists Ian
Hunter and Celia Larner]
Turn Village, Lancashire

“Well done!  More poems with pictures please!
Meanwhile; the bus workers in Belfast and the
hill farmers in Lancashire work with writers
and artists!”


Harley W. Lond [poet]
Los Angeles, California

“The chapbooks of Séamas Cain are lovely!”


"+ lo_y. +"

"( the comments page is full of praise
allready, so instead of adding to it i
lo_y'ed Cain's poem EXTINCTION – hope
you like it )
kind regards,



ey.f[p]ll+ w/nravf_i-pesa shich/p.r
=h t a.w/heswo fa/i/sd-heio/l-n, w+
ut amonwo upoutymurtho throov
w_n'mwls_t.pout/b/r[ll]th@tionto+ ss
c c a/n/m/s-wit t w-ing, ans
pr-the w/lli.p/[t-io]fnn
theran t_fed t, a grt_
animtrie wel-t[m]o/yuld-p a
on t-lvaid t-otne/k/w[in]d

( after EXTINCTION by Séamas Cain )"



Noemie Maxwell [poet]
Teaneck, New Jersey

“The work here is certainly worth sharing;
I'm glad Mr. Cain wrote these books.  What
I am struck by most is the calling-up of so
many senses through the evocation-of-objects,
each object significant in itself.  This sets
up colorful progression/counter-progression
in the mind of the reader, which is satisfying.
Good work, well-conceived and executed,
deserves to be read!”


Eóin McKiernan,
Founding Director of
An Foras Cultúir
Professor Emeritus of the
University of St. Thomas in
St. Paul, Minnesota

“I see from these poems that Cain is
familiar with the Celtic mythology — 
and uses it well.  There is sensitivity
and sensibility present!  He has a nice
power of atmosphere, mood.  I do not
know what to attach to the sexual imagery.

“Cain has perceptivity.  He should keep it
alive.  One danger to it is the rarefication
that COULD set in as a result of too much
distancing from Mother Earth.  ‘Snow With
Outstretched’ and the ‘Stone Cutter’ — in
THE MAGIC OPAL — I liked the best.”


Thomas J. Mew [visual-artist]
Dana Professor and Head of
the Department of Art at
Berry College,
Rome, Georgia

“I've just read Séamas Cain's INDEX OF
REFRACTION and wanted to write and say
how much I enjoyed it.  The imagery hints
of Dylan Thomas but Séamas Cain makes it
very much his own.  I was particularly
impressed with how visual the words were
and how each poem was, in its own way,
like a little painting, mysterious and
shimmering.  The Silver Birch Press and
the Duluth Art Institute are to be commended
for publishing this fine body of work.”


[writer, and net-artist]
Wollongong, New South Wales

.loose. .static.
[....][.][.??? .......]
hi ..... i'm not really 1 to
offer a critique on traditional
poetry, as my expertise lies elsewhere...
i did enjoy reading the poetry though:)
and 2 u, Bestwishes. mez breeze”


Clemente Padín
[net-artist and visual poet]
Montevideo, Uruguay

“Dear friends, I visited The Poems of
Séamas Cain web-site.  It is excellent!
I thank you for Cain's words.  Fraternally!”


Jean-Charles Perrey [visual artist]
Mill Valley, California

“Thank you to Séamas Cain and to Silver Birch
Press for this poetry.  We are all perishers of
pearls!  The role of poetry is not always to
gossip but sometimes to put ourselves in front
of a sudden evidence.  The powerful and graphic
images of Séamas Cain are not disillusion for
our world.  In this poetry I discovered humour,
which is a source of optimism.  Many of these
poems leave the reader in no doubt about the
state of mind of the author.  Cain's poetry
unveils an essence, a substance, an aspiration,
the dream of a world reconciled with itself
even if red deer and fallow deer are sometimes


Peter Philpott
[poet, and publisher]
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire

“I find the poems of Séamas Cain to
be interesting, powerful and pointed,
with a strong and distinctive voice,
or attitude behind a voice.  Cain's
web-site contains some interesting,
richly textured poems!  I have placed
a link to Cain's site on my own web-site,  Best wishes!”


Nguyen Phuoc [visual artist]
St. Cloud, Minnesota

“Wonderful website!”


Robert Pillsbury [botanist]
Bowling Green, Ohio

“I like these poems but can only read a few
at a time because for me they all seem to
possess the same intensity and tone which
would begin to dull my appreciation of them
if I read them all at once.”


Irene Plazewska
[poet and visual artist]
Gorey, County Wexford

“Greetings from the Celtic mists, smogs
and slimes!  This poetry has arrived
just in time — many thanks.  The poetry
of Séamas Cain is flowing through us
like smooth stones and bird flight.”


Lanny Quarles [writer]
Dallas, Texas

“Poems of Séamas Cain ~
What a fantastic writer!”


Dan Raphael [poet]
Editor of NRG,
Portland, Oregon

“I read three books by Séamas Cain, total
stranger from Northern Minnesota; poems
rectangular and stanzaed, titles like
‘The Poacher,’ ‘Orchards’ and ‘Thunder.’
Expectations.  Try a reading of ‘Thunder’!
My first reaction is relief and joy in
the word-blasts and backwoods surrealist
fantasies here in Cain's BIRD'S FOOT, the
best of the three I read.

“A friend took a look and wondered if
the poems had been done by computer.
It's true that Cain stays within
ordinary sentence syntax.  A general
problem with ‘un-logical’ word-choice
is people can think the method is
surrealist word-lists or some other
type of mechanical substitution.  To
counteract this misjudgment, a sense
of the motives underlying the author's
word-choices needs to be communicated.
This communication may not be
representative/linear, but spacial/
cumulative/impressionistic; so the
reader's sensibility and openness are
part of the communication process.
Try a reading of ‘The Frieze and
the Nitrate’!  Here and elsewhere,
the natural referants are used to
disturbing effect, bringing the
jumble-jive of city speed and
discordance to the lush, active
and stark outdoors, or is it the
other way around.  Most of the
lines in Cain's poetry are closely
cadenced.  At times, the assonance
seems shrill.

“Going one book back to THE EXHUMATION
OF MOZART, some of the methods underlying
BIRD'S FOOT become more apparent.  Many
of the poems in MOZART are ‘experimental’
in the literal sense — exercises with
recognizable patterns, often centered
around alliteration.

“Séamas Cain is clearly developing
through these books.  What I look
forward to in future works — besides
a continuance of the language flow
amidst the careening natural imagery,
which I greatly enjoy — is a stronger
human pulse, be it through more
expressive vocal/sonal rhythms, or
through the poet giving a stronger
heart-sense of the energy impelling
his words.”


Floreal Rodríguez de la Paz,
Coordinator of SIEMBRA,

“Séamas Cain is a companion in liberty.
In liberty, we discovered his interest in
the arts.  It pleases us to know of Cain.
For us, it is important that there be
CREATIVITY in Arts and Letters, as well
as in everything else.  We are always
planting the seeds of liberty that we
need, by all the universe.  What a simple
thing it would be to practice and to enjoy
the acratic social knowledge that we praise!

“In the measurement of our free time, we have
examined the poems of Séamas Cain.  There,
we find everything as it is lived right now
throughout the majestic world — that we have
and that provides life to us — and interests
to us of a very special way, a human way.
However, wars and miseries are the result
of ferocious pathologies of the same humanity,
which does not stop in its conquest of the
power to autodestruct.

“In our magazine SIEMBRA you will know our
work by the four pillars that the idea of
literary freedom maintains:  Art, Culture,
Solidarity, Freedom.  That is everything at
the moment!  We thank Séamas Cain for his
writing, his great and sincere expressions.
Throughout the Iberian peninsula we are
working very seriously.  We wait for
important results in the short term!
With embraces from Alcoy-Alicante
in Spain — Salud!”


Stephen Ronan [poet]
Berkeley, California

“Can you imagine a painting that is the
perfect extension of all that came before
it yet that is far outdistancing and is pure
art?  Such works — and I see them all the time
in museums and art schools — tend to leave the
vast numbers of people uncomprehending and cold.
The artist's only hope for deliverance is in the
reception of other artists and, presumably,
critics.  In the field of poetry I feel similarly
about the work of Séamas Cain with
its Stone Lanterns and its Hanuman Langur.
What could better embody poetry today?
A clever rhyme?  The complacent extrusion
of some academy?  I think not.  As the poet
becomes an endangered species in so many
places I commend the Silver Birch Press and
the Duluth Art Institute for their propagation
of the work of Séamas Cain.  Best regards!”


Franklin Rosemont [surrealist]
Chicago, Illinois

“I read the poems of Séamas Cain
with interest and appreciation.”


Andrea Rugg [photographer]
Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Very beautiful poetry.  The poems make
the reader ponder the writer's personal
history.  Possibly a portrait would be
a good idea on the web-site as well.”


Chris Shillock [poet]
Minneapolis, Minnesota

“The poetry of Séamas Cain is work
of intelligence and passion and often
a sharp and thorny beauty.  The images
are often stunning, sometimes just
puzzling, but always surprising.  I
found the best way was to just let
them flow over me, so the poems I
liked best were those that provided
the most repetition to carry me along
like LULLABY and QUALMS.  Of course,
WAR was the poem that grabbed me most.
I especially appreciated the fact that
Cain is politically conscious without
adopting a standpoint of moral
superiority to the reader.”


Shozo Shimamoto [performance-artist]
Koshienguchi, Nishinomiya,
Hyogo, Japan

“I gesture in homage to the poetry
of Séamas Cain!”


Elías Siqueiros [poet]
New York, New York

“I felt, on reading Cain's poems,
the same sensation as that when I
first encountered the poems of Paul
Celan.  A layer of spasmic quietude
surrounded my lips, reading, knowing
that here was a voice from out of the

“Cain's language is structured around
languages dead and forgotten, they
communicate, we watch them emerge from
their cacophonous states and signal us,
the most dead, to begin the march at
times absurd and irreverent, at other
times sorrowful in transic prayer.
In his newer poems he seems to have
disembodied himself completely.  The
poet is the seen and not the seer.
Each leaf of a tree ponders itself and
what's around him.  The poet is transfixed
by his shattered state, the pieces of
himself are the objects around him,
existents and non-existents, and they
question him.  But he has the aloofness
of a god and gives his answer only to
his favorites.  His favorites, as with
any real god, are those the farthest
from him.

“In these poems I read, spanning twenty
years, there is a purity of vision which
propelled me outside of myself.  It is
contagious to be so close to a raging
fire, you begin to think as an arsonist.
Purity of function, of purpose, of will,
that is what keeps our eyes glued to the
page, that enables us to think.

“This is the ending of one of Cain's
poems, ‘every man knelt / before the
unicorns / every man knelt.’  And I am
still kneeling now.

“What I would like to say now is that what
has kept this man underground is exactly
that purity of purpose of which I wrote
of above.  He knows, does not think, HE

“Cain is, to me, the most important
poet of the age.  I will light a candle for
his arrival.  I am dumbfounded.  I am not
exaggerating when I write that I find Cain
the most compelling and innovative writer


Homer L. Springer, Jr. [visual artist]
Farmville, Virginia

“Séamas Cain, thank you for the gift of your
poetry.  I enjoy it.”


Rod Summers
[sound-artist, and poet]
Maastricht, the Netherlands

“My first impression — the imagery
of Séamas Cain is clearly drawn; it
invites reading.  Each line is a sliver
of a broken mirror, reflecting the
variety of real dreaming.  I am very
interested in how a poem sounds — and
when I saw Cain's name I immediately
assumed he was writing from a brown
small-windowed room overlooking the
river Liffey and the voice I heard
was suitably accented.”


Rosalie Sundin
[poet, writer, and visual artist]
St. Paul, Minnesota

“Séamas Cain's disturbing imagery
demands the reader stop and read
the poems again, more slowly —
the vocabulary of the poem WAR
drips with the senseless loss of
human life.  I found myself grateful
that thus far in my life I've been
sheltered from war's realities.  My
personal favorite of Cain's works is
the much more gentle SNOW WITH
OUTSTRETCHED; its delicately
woven words calm the soul.”


Bryan Thao Worra
[poet, and arts advocate]
Hmong Literary Journal,
St. Paul, Minnesota

“I've only begun to take a look at
the work of Séamas Cain, but it's
clear that he's won his admirers
for a reason.  It's a joy to see a
poet attack the language with such
artful enthusiasm, and I have little
reason to doubt that we'll be hearing
more from him in the future.  I hope
his work inspires many others to create.
I'm looking forward to seeing what gems
he brings to his readers next.”


Marc Thompson [poet]
Minneapolis, Minnesota

“I've been slowly working my way
through the Séamas Cain web-site.
I like the presentation, especially
the graphic with each page.  The camels
that go with WAR are my favorite.  I like
Cain's poetry style — there is a feeling
of a traditional narrative ballad
coupled with modern techniques.”


Andrew Torch
[surrealist artist, and organizer]
St. Louis , Missouri

“I found the poetry of Séamas Cain to
be lively and filled with daring verbal
imagery that is refreshing in this
sometimes bleak world.”


Joseph A. Uphoff, Jr. [literary critic]
Director of the
Colorado Springs, Colorado

“To my way of thinking the chapbook
represents a more important phase of
the publishing phenomenon than any other.
When a writer is working in private, perhaps
in secret, a great chaos regulates the event
of composition.  Things are rearranged and
changed, advice is given, discussions held.
There may be a tension of suspense in the
atmosphere of the work.  The production of
a chapbook resolves everything climactically.
It is the artist's assertion that a final
result has been obtained.

“The poems of Séamas Cain strike me as
being either slightly premature or of a
sensibility somewhat different from my own
as I know post-modern work is inclined to be.
I have always felt that contemporary poetry
could be distilled just a touch more than it
has been.  Poets often have an apprehensiveness
that leaves them loath to review concluded

“The poems of Séamas Cain were a joy to
read, and I would like to see others.
Cain's style is brilliant, and his
eccentric images are very powerful,
shattered progressions.  The abstract
quality well tempered by surrealist
comprehensibility in the symbol, he has
the free association of his mind almost
under control.  He fails in losing the
edge of originality, a loss based in
obsessive — hopefully not paranoid —
realities, something that could be
considered a plague of our time.
These slight degradations seem to
me like the extraneous material that
is filed off after a sculpture is cast.”


Davey Williams
[musician, composer and poet]
Birmingham, Alabama

“Please accept my appreciation of the writing
of Séamas Cain as a genuine contribution to the
surrealist revolt of absolute divergence in the
service of life, love, and liberty.  This is to
say:  BIRD'S FOOT in particular for me has some
utterly stupendous, magnificent pieces.  Same
for THE MAGIC OPAL, actually.  I must admit
that I'm put off by alliteration somewhat,
though Cain handles it very well; I'd be
interested to know if this device is for
him a method of automatism.  At any rate,
don't take this as a criticism of his work;
I'm just very interested in it.  Cain is
obviously working in a really interesting
and vital zone there.

“Finally, I am really intrigued by the
amazing disparateness of Cain's imagery;
it almost reminds me of some collective
process, except that these poems were done
by one person, a remarkable achievement I
must say, and one that arouses my curiosity
as to method.  Anyway, it's great stuff;
keep up the marvellous work, and remember:
There are snakes in the kitchen; and there
are fish swimming in and out of your eyes.
They are looking for rainbows to breathe
instead of tides!”


Jay Woolrich [visual artist]
Leicester, England

“The poetry of Séamas Cain seems to
me to be highly original, a genuine
contribution in a genre which sometimes
seems to attract poets who are content
to merely recycle what has gone before.
The juxtapositions are fresh and often
startling, the language dense in a way
that rewards repeated reading.  Thank
you for pointing me in the direction of
this poetry.  I like what I've read so
far very much!”


Yoyo Yogasmana
Bandung, Indonesia

“First, congratulations!  I like
Cain's work.  Good work, perfect!
I believe everything's ready for
him, so please with my pleasure!”


Daniel P. Zielske
[composer, and multimedia artist]
Mankato, Minnesota

“I find the work of Séamas Cain
very timely and inspirational in
a time when much of the media is
focused on war and corporate concerns.
As environmental concerns are pushed to
the back it becomes even more important
for the Artist to cry out against injustice.
Through the Artist's dream we find a new
focus that will bring about a new and
better world.  My words to Séamas Cain
are ‘Keep crying out; the earth will
hear you and respond.’  Best wishes
for the future!”