Breakfast with Sylvia (Lagan Press, Belfast)
‘Kevin Kiely, like quite a few of his literary contemporaries, has a reputation as strong in Europe and the US as it is here.’
—James J. McAuley The Irish Times 2005
‘Kiely jolts us into another dimension of language, where speech is worked like molten metal, throwing off sparks, allusions, memories and experiences. Yet through the pyrotechnics shines the cool winter light of Donegal.’
—Barbara Ellis Iota (London) 2006
‘Here poetry redeems itself in Kiely’s assured perspective. The title poem is in two parts which, if they were music, must resonate of Bach.’
—Tommy Frank O’Connor Studies Spring 2006
‘Successful is his series about famous artistic personalities. The mix is eclectic: ‘Requiem for Kurt Cobain’ sits between ‘Who’s Afraid of Ezra Pound?’ and ‘Skimming Sam Beckett, while Ovid, Buddha, and Coleridge all inspire poems of their own.’
—Val Nolan Poetry Ireland Review 2006
Horse Called El Dorado(O'Brien Press, 2005) Bisto Honour Award Winner 2006; Shortlisted for Scottish Highland Children’s Book Awards (Scotland) 2006
'The hazardous journey from Colombia to Ireland: a story of dreams and our need to fulfill them.'
—Robert Dunbar The Irish Times
'Another brilliant contribution to the list of excellent...'
—Tony Hickey Village
'Pepe's adventure makes this story memorable, but the warm, less-than-perfect characters make it exceptional.'
—Paddy O'Doherty's Editor's Choice Inis-Children's Books Ireland
‘Dramatic events in Colombia begin this story, that is full of adventure, horses and action. Strongly written, it is beautifully atmospheric.’
—Children’s Book News (UK)
Plainchant for a Sundering (Lapwing Press, Belfast)
'Kiely's style - and the liberty of his voice - has more to do with those few Irish poets who have been exposed to a working European modernity; the work is given its head, allowed to find its own form. This is dark, almost Gothic stuff, not for the poetically squeamish'.
Fred Johnston Poetry Ireland Review
'Transformations, here, do not come through language - rather language is being used to expound and delineate very personal transformations'.
Ross Moore The Burning Bush
'All that we have here is earnestness of feeling, set down in a 'therapoetic' mode'.
Peter Denman Books Ireland
Mere Mortals (Poolbeg, Dublin)
'he co-ordinates the levels of his material with an efficiency underscored by darker shades of absurdity, and flagelates the Irish educational system along the way'.
Ashling Maguire The Irish Times
'a nerve-centre through which the daily affairs of small-town living are relayed, which makes for an auspicious starting point'.
Mary O'Donnell The Sunday Tribune
'the prose has something of the intuitive feel of Henry Green's novella Loving, it is worth reading for the subtle movement of thought-packed language alone'.
Bruce Stewart Books Ireland
'I refer to the lyrical, almost mythic sequence describing the origins of the Arch and at the end a beautiful portrayal of two elderly widows which transcends its pretentious title ('Sisters at Sunset in B Flat Minor')'.
John Dunne The Irish Literary Supplement.
'These books are for people who are bored with ordinary novels, and who want to read a distinctively Irish version of the modern. They are demotic in the way they assume they do not constitute an arcane taste; as any whiff of privilege is aggressively dispelledÃ‰and undermining of highbrow pretensions creates a bond of complicity'.
J. C. C. Mays Alpha
Quintesse (St Martin's Press, New York)
'There will be those who'll say it's a cop out, and those who'll say it's a manifesto; those who'll say it's a fragment, and those who'll say it's a bible. There will be those who'll say it's drunk on its own excesses; and those who'll say this very delirium is its greatness'.
Aubrey Dillon-Malone The Evening Herald.
'neither slick nor over-clever, betraying all the ingredients of the genuine Fools of literature in whom an unconscious nobility rather rebellion is the mainspring'.
Gillman Noonan The Irish Times
'Kiely's prose presents a stream of surreal images, evoking an Ireland that is part real and part literary tradition'.
Stephen H Cape Library Journal New York
'As did the mature Nabokov in Ada, the novice Kiely offers a sort of palimpsest of erotic memories, in which old experience glimmers beneath the surface of new'.
Stephen Whittaker Best Seller NY
'This first novel has quite a simple plot, I have read it three times to establish this, and it was worth it'.
Gerry Colgan The Irish Independent
Francis Stuart: Artist and Outcast
(Liffey Press, Dublin; Dufour, Pennsylvania)
'Stuart asked Kiely to write his life story and suggested it should read like a novel'.
Tony Bailie The Irish News
'Kiely unravels what earlier studies, a short 1974 monograph by Jerry Natterstad and a basic 1990 life by Geoffrey Elborn, could not have revealed. With access to previously closed Department of Foreign Affairs files on Stuart copied from originals (destroyed in Berlin) by the Irish Legation who tracked him, and with intimate knowledge from long conversations over the decades, Kiely depicts a respectful, never fawning or ingratiating, portrait of enigmatic Stuart.'
Fionnchú Etudes Irlandaises
'A fascinatingly accurate echo of the controversial writer's own eerie voice...'
Brian Lynch The Irish Times
'Those seeking to unravel Stuart's labyrinthine life will hardly find a more detailed exposé than this one.'
David O'Donoghue The Sunday Business Post
'And perhaps the strangest thing about Stuart is the way he almost predicted the course his life would take in some of his pre-war novels.'
'The biographer's congenial access to Stuart lends the book an authentic immediacy…'
Richard T. Murphy New Hibernia Review