CIARAN CARSON, whose poetry and prose captured the pungency, tensions and rich heritage of Northern Ireland, especially his native Belfast, died in that city on Oct 6. He was 70.

Laura Susijn of the Susijn Agency, which represented him, said the cause was lung cancer.

Mr. Carson was perhaps best known as a poet, and his most acclaimed collection may have been  ''Befast Confetti,'' published in 1989.

''Carson's lanky verses and prose poems have made poetry out of the scary complexities of the distraught city,'' Thomas D'Evelyn wrote of that volume in The Christian Science Monitor.

Its title poem begins with jarring collision of imagery :

Suddenly as the riot squad moved in,
it was raining exclamation marks
Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type.
And the explosion itself  - an asterisk on the map.
The hyphenated line, a burst of rapid fire.

I was trying to complete a sentence in my head,
but I kept stuttering.
All the alleyways and side-streets
blocked with stops and colons.

He experimented with structure, and his style evolved, from longer lines to shorter, fragmented ones.

''I can't say why the forms in which I write have changed so radically over the years,'' he told the  Wake Forest University Press in 2010,'' but it seems we should adopt new methods for new situations. The situation demands the form.

His exploratory nature also infused a wide variety of prose works. There was the mosaic like ''Shamrock Tea'' 2001], which, as the Guardian put it, ''claims to be a novel but might equally be filed under History, Philosophy, Art, or Myth and Religion.''

There was the idiosyncratic memoir ''The Star Factory'' [1997], which the Chicago Tribune called a  ''celebratory evocation, the work of a man determined to live an ordinary urban life, and to clear in it a place for the imagination.''

There was ''Last Night's Fun,'' his meditation on traditional Irish music, each chapter bearing the title of a beloved song.

The World Students Society thanks author Neil Genzlinger.


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