In Stars Burn Regardless, Jean O’Brien writes as a seer, with a vision that travels beneath and through the worlds she inhabits. With stunning language and original voice, she travels the edges of things: the earth/sea/sky—the bones/bodies/ash. These relentless poems, sometimes liquid, sometimes standing straight up on hard ground, shift into the unfathomable and unspeakable as they name the murders of up to eight hundred children’s bodies at the Mother & Babies home in Tuam: Ragged bundles of stick bones tiny as dolls and skulls/the size of tennis balls…O’Brien is a writer who writes the threshold, and then opens the door to shifting transformations of the body and its place on the planet, never backing down from the fevers and the ecstasies.
–Jan Beatty The Body Wars, University of Pittsburgh Press
These poems rise to their occasion, they are tough, tender, generous, passionate and deeply engaged — I cannot recommend Stars Burn Regardless highly enough.
Mark Roper Poet and Librettist