Poetry collection written by Anne Casey, published by Salmon Poetry in July 2019.

Book information:

Summary and extracts on Salmon Poetry website.

where to buy:

'the light we cannot see' can be purchased direct from the publisher: Salmon Poetry, and via major online book retailers and bookshops.

Also available for purchase from bookshops and online book retailers internationally.


the light we cannot see traverses a globe caught in the combined turmoil of the climate crisis, COVID-19 and humanitarian unrest, as seen through the eyes of a mother worried for her children's futures and an exiled daughter struggling with loss and separation from loved ones in her native Ireland. Navigating the path of these apocalyptic spheres and their devastating impacts – including catastrophic bushfires in her adopted homeland of Australia – the poet strives throughout this collection of award-winning poems to connect with our "one persisting challenge – to somehow find our allied humanity". A probing reflection on the human condition, this book leans always towards "the light we cannot yet see, but know lies ahead".​


"Anne Casey’s the light we cannot see aches with loveliness even as it warns against humanity’s pervasive damage to the environment.  Poem after elegant, ecocritical poem showcases Casey’s grasp of the environmental crises we have created in the Anthropocene—whether it’s the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef (“Where once she danced”), the Australian wildfires (“This is not a drill”), or the rising ocean levels (“At sea”).  But she interweaves each poem with such a profound beauty that we cannot help but to remember that at least with poetry, humans have created something good.  This is a work that breaks your heart with its almost elegiac approach to ecology and the Earth—and yet, Casey offers that scintilla of hope that with human change, all is not lost (“Either way, the fact remains”).  A wonderful and staggering collection of poetry."
—JC Reilly, Managing Editor of Atlanta Review,

Author of What Magick May Not Alter

 "Anne Casey’s poetry is a revelation. Her work effortlessly moves between the metaphysical and the sensual, the concrete and the lyrical, the inspirational and the earthly. Encountering the light we cannot see is to encounter a whole range of human experience evoked with poignancy, poise and grace. It’s the sort of work that lodges within and stays vivid long after reading."
—John Tague, Managing Editor of Griffith Review

"a superb addition to the literature on our times"

"Casey is a wizard of winds, a master craftsperson"

"True to her masters, Boland, Heaney and Yeats, Casey

brings in the magic of folklore and mythic figures and

from the mouths of babies and speaking trees" 

"Casey’s book is a regal gift replete with high poetry

of loss, love and exile, an evocation of a mislaid world"

—Yuyutsu Sharma, Managing Editor, Pratik Magazine

"The light we cannot see is a gorgeous book,

rich with all of the complexity of modern life,

and full of moments of transcendence, beauty, and loss,

all covered with a light touch

that seems illuminated."

—Magdalena Ball, Compulsive Reader Magazine

 "Anne Casey’s brilliant new collection of poetry is her best work yet - lyrical, experimental, musical and technically sophisticated. Casey engages passionately with urgent global, local and personal issues, from climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic to exile, motherhood, loss and acceptance. Writing in the tradition of Boland, Heaney and Yeats, she exhibits a mastery of form and subject, crafting beautiful, irrefutable appeals to our emotions, ethics and logic."
—Dr Nathanael O'Reilly, Poet, Associate Professor,

University of Texas at Arlington,

Author of (Un)belonging, Preparations for Departure and Distance

"There is great humanity in these poems, a willingness to be vulnerable and open to emotion. It is matched by a gift for words, an instinct for what can be said and what can only be implied, alongside a true poet's love of the sound and texture of spoken language, whether pronounced out loud or inwardly towards the mind's attentiveness. Family, grief, death and separation recur across these poems, but so equally do the tactile sensations of being alive in this world. Landscapes and weather-scapes, birds and animals, urban chatter and quiet open spaces abound in these engaging poems that explore life as it unfolds in the ominous 21st Century."
—Dr Peter Boyle, Poet, Translator of Poetry,

Author of Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness,

winner of the NSW Premier's Prize 2020

 "In this luminous and searing new collection, Anne Casey invites us into her world of ghosts from the old country rearing up in the new and enthralls us with her evocations and invocations, while planting her uncompromising political, yet beautifully softly-gloved fist, in our hypocrisies. This is a book to carry us through the darkness and guide us to 'the light we cannot yet see' in poems that are modern masterpieces."
—Indran Amirthanayagam, Author of The Migrant States,

Editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly

"Poignant, powerful, pertinent."

"Casey is a courageous poet—not only in her choice of subjects, but in her skillful shaping of her poems on the page."

"The light we cannot see powerfully reminds us that no matter how dark the world seems to be, the light is always there.

We just need to open our eyes and see it."

Dr Wendy J Dunn inVerity La Magazine

 "dazzling... when everything substantial and reassuring eludes and evades us, a poet’s exquisite distilling of thought and feeling and sensory responses into words provides substance in itself, and encouragement to hope for better days. In describing the ordeals of life and the dread of impending death, Casey has the gifts of both prescience and precision. She writes with full and measured feeling, but also with a fine detachment..."

—Dr Devika Brendon in Rochford Street Review

Internationally award-winning poet and writer