Extravagant Stranger by Daniel Roy Connelly

Extravagant Stranger website cover.jpg
Extravagant Stranger website cover.jpg

Extravagant Stranger by Daniel Roy Connelly


“Glowing prose-poems of hallucinatory intensity” – LUKE KENNARD

In this genre-defying debut work, encompassing six decades and three continents of absurd and often life-threatening experience, Connelly’s peripatetic biography is unpacked in poetic ‘blocks’ of text.

At once personal and hauntingly universal, Extravagant Stranger is a picaresque unfolding of a life spent amassing more questions than answers laced with international intrigue and hilarious moments of well-aimed self-scrutiny.

110pp, July 2017

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“These are glowing, moving prose poems of hallucinatory intensity. The wit and bracing honesty of the memories, from awkward to adulatory, take you through a powerfully personal journey (for the reader as much as the writer) in each poem and in the sequence overall. The sense of timing is exquisite. A masterclass in how to turn a scene, a moment, so that it catches the light just so in the final sentence. Connelly combines the autobiographical courage of Heaney and Hill with the symbolic technique and the reach and ambition of the French masters of the form and the effect is mesmerising.” – LUKE KENNARD (Transition, Cain)

“A collection of personal moments so delicately described that they feel universal, Connelly’s Extravagant Stranger is an acutely honest exposition of a life lived poetically.” – AARON KENT (Tertiary Colours, Blood Fjørd '89)

“Daniel Roy Connelly is a crackerjack fabulist with top-banana timing. His wordplay is infectious.” – HELEN IVORY

“Daniel Roy Connelly is one of the most strikingly original writers I’ve heard in a while – witty, keenly insightful, with a droll, pitch-perfect sense of timing, his work feels like a refreshing wake-up call.” – NAOMI SHIHAB NYE


A former British diplomat, Daniel is a theatre director, actor and professor of creative writing, English and theatre at John Cabot University and the American University of Rome.He has acted in and directed theatre in America, the UK, Italy and China, where his 2009 production of David Henry Hwang’s M Butterfly was forced to close by the Chinese secret police.

His writing is widely published in print and online. He was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize and winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for poetry. Recent work has appeared in The North, The Transnational (in German), Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Moth, Acumen and Critical Survey and he has a forthcoming pamphlet from Eyewear Publishing as part of their Aviator Series.


They stand mottled with their backs to the tide, fleshy, russet-skinned old men a month under the sun with energy still for dirty thoughts about passing girls who walk alone the length of the beach from the castle to the town.

Their wives, flattened into the sand, hair dyed special, harp on the rocks on their fingers as if they are at this moment dying, leaving behind once and for all the years of blinding light and the condo with a clear view of the ocean.



It is a December morning in Rome for which the word Immaculate exists. The sky is baby blue and spotless. In my long-sleeved shirt I could be a general returned from The Gallic Wars, pine trees arching my entry to the Villa Borghese, weeds waving in the breeze, ancient statues of gods and great men line up to shake my hand, the gravel path cracking beneath my feet as I parade from one side of the park to the other. This is how to live, like the sun, triumphal, whatever.



A letter to my son, re. black dog

Daniel performs his poem tackling the black dog of depression in the form of a letter to his 6-year-old son. Published online by The Good Men Project. © Daniel Roy Connelly, 2016.