Wie is de vrouw on de overkant?
The Portrait of his First Wife
Blinking in the Dark
|There is an interest for women poets in how media presents electoral processes like the recent Oxford Professor of Poetry appointment. Just as there is an interest in how media views poetry generally.
“I would like to see something different at the next election. I would like to see the media discussing women poets and the benefits that they can bring to the chair, and how their role can influence emerging women poets. I feel that this can be achieved by speaking to women candidates with intelligence and not utilising them as filler material in your ossified view of what poetry is.” (VIDA)
If the media is incapable of challenging sexism in poetry, is uninterested in the academic perception of poetry as a male preserve, or indeed in the low review numbers of books by women poets that occur in their newspapers, then what happened at Oxford will continue to occur intermittently and that my friends is just boring.
choppy Irish Sea
A Train Hurtles West
All through the Night:
The Last Childbearing Years
Deliciously, all that we might have been,
|Lindsey Bellosa lives in Syracuse, NY. She has an MA in Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway and has poems published in both Irish and American journals: most recently The Comstock Review, The Galway Review, Poethead, Flutter Poetry Journal, Emerge Literary Journal and The Cortland Review. Her first full length collection was recently longlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize.
“Birth Partner” and other poems by Lindsey Bellosa
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
—JOHN KEATS, Ode on a Grecian Urn
Women Improve With the Years
Always Sligo Rovers
and we remember
our pasts, our people returned to us for tonight—
Gym Poem #1
The Somnambulist Who Stood Still
Death by delirium
The num num num num num num num poem.
Bubble Butt Jew
scene 1: the goldberg variations
a kiosk at the end of a dark train in an abandoned travelyard:
the magician in his moth coat appears in a vaudeville flourish.
your piano plays the rescued Goldberg,
– their black edges.
it is the gothic quarter
their coffins are white with crosses on (red)
aside an archivum (shades of gray):
Scene 2 : the goldberg variations
wending its tones above a skatepark of bullet-glass
(the melody plays, yes).
I see that:
softening the blow here and here
he is always the hanged man (stasis)
Scene 3: sphinx
nobly in-dreaming he (of heads ?)
lover (‘not’ properly addressed)
he dreams gold or red heads (emanant)
sphinx cat lies on my egyptian cottons,
& my lover’s red
Invoking St Ciarán of Saigher
Put Out the Light
Lilacs from the Field of Mars
Bringing armfuls of lilacs from the Field of Mars
Your love, Lord reaches to heaven
I am on the roof this breezy day,
Above me are the chimneys –
I am a billowing blown crow
Sister brought me up the back stairs.
the nuns say, presaging a storm,
I am as high as the monkey puzzle,
Down below is the road I will walk
the nuns take me to the parlour
that I miss them, when all the while:
dry spider plants on the windowsills
up to Portrush and posts them there
I talk to my baby up here.
in either the making or getting of God
I mind my Granny saying
Who’ll help me when the time comes?
on the slate. The red bricks of the walls burn
First published in Poetry Ireland Review in 2007.
Audio Poetry by Maureen Boyle
Charles Bukowski is my Dad
Pity the Mothers
Sylvia Plath You Are Dead
|Elaine Feeney is considered a leading part of political contemporary Irish writers. She was educated in University College Galway, University College Cork and University of Limerick. Feeney has published three collections of poetry Indiscipline (2007), Where’s Katie? (2010, Salmon) and The Radio was Gospel (2013, Salmon) Her work has been published widely in literary magazines and anthologies. She is currently working on a novel.
“Elaine Feeney is the freshest, most engaging and certainly the most provocative female poet to come out of Ireland in the last decade. Her poem ” Mass”, is both gloriously funny, bitter-sweet in the astuteness of its observations and a brilliant, sly window into the Irish female Catholic experience. Her use of irony is delicious. Her comments on the human condition, which run throughout her lines, are in the tradition of Dean Swift and she rightfully takes her place alongside Eavan Boland and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill as a very, very important Irish voice.” Fionnuala Flanagan, California 2013 (Praise for The Radio was Gospel, 2013, Salmon)
“A choice collection of poetry, one not to be overlooked, 5 Stars” Midwest Book Review, USA, (Praise for Where’s Katie? 2010, Salmon Poetry).
Elaine Feeney saying Mass
Tír na nÓg
|Sarah O’Connor is originally from Tipperary. She studied in UCC and Boston College, and she now lives in Dublin. She previously worked in publishing and now works in politics. She is 34. She is working on her first novel and on a collection of poetry. She has been published by Wordlegs and The Weary Blues.
Sarah O’Connor blogs at The Ghost Station & tweets at @theghoststation.
Dancer, after Yinka Shonibare, ‘Girl Ballerina’
First of all, you have lived in different places in the United States, and now you live in Dublin and are often visiting London. Could you describe how the changing communities you have been a part of have influenced your writing, if so?
Living in different places has certainly influenced my work. Even when I lived in the US I was constantly moving – from Indiana to Alabama to Florida (west coast) to Ohio to Florida (east coast, very different from the west!). The differences among these locations prepared me for living in other countries. There is a tendency to think any given country or place is monolithic and predetermined – we have a sort of place-holder definition in our minds for what a location is. Only when we are there, and, I would argue, there in a very open way, do we note massive differences among people, interactions, expectations, politics, even within a square mile. A friend of mine, Dylan Griffith, who is also from the Midwest in the US and who is now a filmmaker in Los Angeles refers to the idea that as Midwesterners we are extremely flexible and adaptable because we have no distinct culture ourselves. We can easily live anywhere. They call our part of the US ‘flyover country’, and many Europeans and East or West coast Americans perceive us that way. However, to truly understand the American psyche, if there is such a thing, you’d have to understand its immense variation, which includes those lands and people you might normally ‘fly over’.
Which authors inspire you?
I’ve been influenced by the work of Etheridge Knight, H.D. and Susan Howe, all extremely different poets in terms of their approach, but all equally resonant for me. All three are ‘American’ poets approaching their work in different modes but with a similar core. Howe refers to her belief ‘in the sacramental nature of poetry’, which I think also applies to Knight and H.D., and which ultimately underpins my own work.
Much of your work has a sense of roughness about it, like when you write: “The number elevens on the necks/of hungry children. Tendons pushing/flesh at the base of the head. They record/the odds. One to one. A fifty-fifty/chance of making it out alive” in the poem “All Saint’s Day”. Why does this radical raw poetry interest you?.
I wouldn’t say it interests me as much as it seems necessary at the time of writing to create a certain imagery. Some of my poems do have a more familiarly lyric poetic approach: imagery and figurative language are emitted from a distinct poetic speaker. And my particular style of imagery does sometimes head into the rough, as you put it. However, other work definitely does not. Sometimes the imagery is deliberately muted in contrast to the subject, or sometimes the poem comes out of found text, sound poetry, visual poetry. I’m a magpie poet and refuse allegiances to schools (beyond the fact that I do feel more modernist than postmodernist). This belies the influences I’ve outlined above. I can use devastating imagery and a direct voice like Etheridge Knight. I can work on a vatic level like H.D. to create poems that feel like translations of recently discovered ancient texts, but which in fact are created from found text. I can manipulate and excavate an archive visually, like Susan Howe.
Actually, Irish language poet Aifric Mac Aodha recently translated a poem of mine into Irish for a large-scale project I’m working on (www.sacrumprofanumproject.com). This poem was created from a large archive of texts on the sheela-na-gigs, which I amassed over two years. When it’s translated into Irish, the poem sounds ancient. But this ancientness has a strange texture as it’s in modern Irish and some of the contemporary sensibilities in the English text have come across, of course. This process of translation after excavation can have a truly unexpected effect.
Do you consider your found poems to be ‘conceptual’? What is your opinion on conceptual poetry?
In the case of the found sheela-na-gig poems in Strange Country, I don’t see them as conceptual, rather I see them as re-assembled fragments resulting from the excavation of an archive. This excavation strives toward discovering and displaying something essential about the sheela-na-gigs that was previously hidden or submerged. I suppose the process I’ve just described is in itself a concept, but I don’t think that the concept is the driver here. The poem itself emerges from the text, as if from stone being carved
On the other hand, my book with zimZalla is conceptual, and concept is its driver. It will memorialise the 796 babies and children who died at the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Ireland. I will create a 796-page record-book as there are death records, but no burial records for these children, so no one knows where they are buried. The mother and baby homes operated in Ireland even as late as the second half of the 20th century. Women who became pregnant out of wedlock were sent there. Their children were often adopted by Irish or foreign families in what is reminiscent of a business transaction brokered by the church. In addition to this trauma, the conditions in these homes were horrific, which led to high rates of infant and child mortality, and a huge amount of suffering for the women. There are accounts of women in labour not being given pain relief by the church-run medical teams because they were meant to appease for their sexual sin. More on that story can be found here. So again, I use whatever tools or modes feel necessary.
Your poetry seems to draw on the unpoetic to a high degree, what is it about the unpoetic that fascinates you?
I’m not sure what is meant by poetic in the 21st century. I think that arguably the notion of the poetic as ‘beautiful’ never actually existed, or if so, only very briefly and not even consistently in the work of those poets who might have espoused it for a little while. Blood-and-guts battles, degradation, injustice, suffering – these tropes have occurred in poetry since the very beginning.
In addition to the question above, I have noticed the fairly frequent use of the word “cunt” in your poetry – what meaning does this word have to you, as a feminist? Do you see this word as a dirty word at all?
In the contexts in which I use it, it is, variously: a provocation, a pun, a cast-off remark, a spell, a descriptor. It is like any word a poet might use, but perhaps with more genealogy.
Is there anything, a feeling, a stance, that you especially want to awaken in your readers? Most of your work provides a critique of the society and human behaviour by means of a certain amount of irony; do you find irony more powerful than other tools of critique?
Irony does seem to be used in my poems in a critical mode as you say, one that’s most often meant to reveal some catastrophic failure in the dominant logic (or a lack of logic altogether). This happens in my poem ‘Birthing Stone’ through the juxtaposition of Doubting Thomas insisting on touching Jesus’s wounds with the Irish medical team insisting on checking for a foetal heartbeat before granting Savita Halapannavar a termination, a delay that resulted in her death. Jesus’s wounds are sometimes portrayed like a vulva or cervix in medieval paintings to evoke the idea that his suffering and death gave birth to the ‘new world’ of eternal life. Pretty ironic in this context.
I’m not sure irony is more powerful than other tools of critique, or whether poetry can sustain and systematically critique in the same ways political or philosophical writing can (or whether it should try to). Irony in my work is a kind of last-ditch effort that certainly won’t win anyone over on a rational basis. None of it is rational, certainly not a person dying for no reason. It follows poetic, figurative logic, rather than the logic you can bring into Parliament or even a political blog post. This can awaken something, I suppose, in some readers? I don’t know.
Your way of reading your poems is very characteristic and at some moments even reminiscent of sound poetry, where does this technique come from? Has there been any inspiration by sound poetry?
I’ve always been intent on the sound of poetry, on poets reading their work and on the reading or reciting of a poem as something quite specific. It’s a quasi-performance, and yet the poet should be out of the way of the poem. There is the phenomenon of the poet who doesn’t read their work very well, or of the poet who inflects all poems with that dramatic ‘poet voice’. An article has even been written on this recently: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/stop-using-poet-voice. What I’m aspiring to when I read most of my work is what is naturally in the poem as I composed it. This is why I often have problems with actors reading poems because they have little regard for things like linebreaks and rhythm embedded in the text.
When I was in high school, my friends and I made recordings of ourselves reading poems by Whitman, Rimbaud, Rilke, Celan and Ginsberg. We did a complete recording of Leaves of Grass on a cassette tape. Sometimes I would play records at the same time and distort or disrupt the poetry. This made sense at the time, but I’m not sure where I was getting the ideas. This was in the 1990’s, before the internet was such a vast resource, so I was piecing together an understanding of art, literature and music from an old-fashioned thing called a library card catalogue, as well as an amazing second-hand bookstore called The Bookstack in downtown Elkhart, Indiana, and whatever records and books various people in my family happened to have. My friends and I also jumped on the South Shore train to Chicago where I saw video installation for the first time at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I was not exposed to sound poetry per se until university where everything just opened up and it got so much easier to access everything both in libraries and digitally. I also trained as a musician. So I suppose all this culminates in how I read today.
Finally, are you looking forward to “Prague Microfestival” and could you perhaps reveal a little about what the audience can look forward to from your performance?
I’m very excited about the Prague Microfestival and grateful that Olga Pek invited me. I will be performing on the Sound Poetry evening. I will use my translation of the Hymn to Kali (an ancient tantric text written in Sanskrit). It’s quite a refined, H.D.-esque translation. It’s not sound poetry at all. The purpose of the performance will be to digest, degrade, distort and abjectify this translation all the way to the point of pure sound and then back to its original language, which is a very particular language indeed in the context of sound as the mantras themselves are meant to be actual vibrational presences of the gods/spiritual beings.
I will be performing with composer and guitarist Benjamin Dwyer. The guitar itself will also go through this same process. We will create a graphic aleatoric (semi-improvisational) musical score with text that we will use in the performance and which will be projected behind us.
The Prague MicroFestival (PMF) came about in an effort to resuscitate the Prague International Poetry Festival, which took place in 2004, a major undertaking on the scale of the Prague Writers’ Festival, with over 40 writers participating from over 20 countries (including Charles Bernstein, Andrej Soznovsky, Tomaz Salamun, Drew Milne, Jaroslav Rudis, Sudeep Sen, Anselm Hollo). Unlike the annual Writers’ Festival, the Prague International Poetry Festival was integrated into the local culture, with events in established local reading venues, with the aim of fostering dialogue among writers and audience members. PMF’s history dates back to April 2009, when a group of Australian poets (Pam Brown, Phil Hammial, Jill Jones, Mike Farrell) and Irish poets (Trevor Joyce, Maurice Scully) visited Prague thanks to funding from the Australia Council and Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs. Along with UK poet Kevin Noland and a group of local Czech and English-language writers, this combined week-long visit became the first MicroFestival. During the three years since that time, PMF has evolved into a major event on Prague literary scene and the only non-commercial literary festival of its size. Since 2011, PMF has entered into a partnership with the Czech poetry magazine Psí Víno and the publisher Petr Štengl, who has released the first anthology of Czech translations originated with the festival, Polibek s rozvodnou (2012).
The purpose of the PMF is to provide a forum for poetic exchange, an alternative to the existing Festival circuit which caters to primarily establishment writers with the inclusion of token Czech authors, and is commercially orientated. The PMF is run by artists, volunteers and students; all events are fully bilingual (English/Czech). The focus of PMF is threefold: to present writing that is innovative/experimental; writing that moves across genres and media (visual culture, music, film) and writing that could be broadly defined as “translocal”, that is, writing outside the confines of nationalism, pursuing a broadly cosmopolitan agenda. It aims to introduce new innovative approaches into the Czech milieu, as well as put Prague on the map of experimental world literature, show Prague as a re-emerging genuinely cosmopolitan centre, whose citizens from all backgrounds and nationalities are contributing to a vital and unique literary culture.
The PMF target audience is anyone with an interest in new writing, in experiment. This year the festival is being co-hosted by the magazines VLAK (in English) and Psí Víno (CZ), and will take place at Student Club Celetná, Celetná 20.
I think of the last time we met
You hid your distress well, John.
I think of you
Margaret, your Irish twin,
Later we went to the priest
We went to Eastbourne to bring you home.
Your mother couldn’t sleep,
Despite all the sadness
You had a photo in your wallet
What are the chances of bumping into you now, John?
On the way back
You were in the hold,
We arrived at Shannon
After the funeral mass
I think of you
‘It’s about John Diviney,’
The Mission is © Rita Ann Higgins
the stress clinic it’s ok no one need know only negligible impending threat i’m going to leave you let healing happen i’m turning left into the coffee shop it’s easy like this one step one more comforting to sit even on seats slashed by spooks i can wait learn patience is learnt on the edge other worlds where others wait for the breath something that “presents” a hiatus between one distress and the nest you’re reluctant to leave it’s ok the world is out there still the density you love suspended in space preparing the next problem for you to solve you’re good at that talented are you ok? me too it’s just the acid sprung on a tensile in my stomach at ulica Freta, 16 – before radium or polonium the wood seeps into your bones in a room that lives as if its grain & whorls were part of your nervous system – smooth marrow – polished in your tea one lump, two meticulous the molecules contract till they disappear optical illusions have their own reality billowing on the balcony Poland is diluted Prussian Russian fission renames a people invents a purpose of its own but you can shut it out indomitable in a room that soon is rubble while thunder splits the summer partitions your future gladioli everywhere alert to your black dress alive your luggage waltzing in the street (originally published in Can-Can #2) modern art you’re slung rigid against the wall boxed in the past adroit your mouth apes bereft of tongue hoping to emit a word a silence, even something, anything of the side-tracked route you had to take from primitive iron lodged in some alpine nook through ism, to prism to plexiglass you’re waiting - aren’t you for me to gut you get the warm feel of your spasm when I tug on the spinal cord and watch you crumple to the ground crimson refusing to be pressed Taipei i wake my arms wrapped around the city legs enjamb- ed with its towers skyward /a formal composition/ silence /stylized/ flowers through its lights the smallness of them struck by shadowed stills the colour of cavities of not wanting to disturb /harmony respect/ 28 degrees at midnight slums unshimmering slumber the eye insists on definition colour resists /chaos v order/ could hang me it’s a hollow that isn’t black but marinated stinky tofu where the street light sizzles maybe it’s a smell a size the meaning of a name i can never forget /beautiful soup/ corrugated iron angles into place discreet /elegant/ blanketblue & rustroof red staggered across some great want where the revolution daubs its palette of scars
|the stress clinic, at ulica Freta, 16 – before radium or polonium & modern art are © Anamaría Crowe Serrano. Read Jezebel & Taipei (PDF)|
Anamaría Crowe Serrano is a poet and translator born in Ireland to an Irish father and a Spanish mother. She grew up bilingually, straddling cultures, rarely with her nose out of a book. Languages have always fascinated her to the extent that she has never stopped learning or improving her knowledge of them. She enjoys cross-cultural and cross-genre exchanges with artists and poets. Much of her work is the result of such collaborations. With a B.A. (Hons) in Spanish and French from Trinity College Dublin, Anamaría went on to do an M.A. in Translation Studies at Dublin City University. Since then, she has worked in localization (translating hardware and software from English to Spanish), has been a reader for the blind, and occasionally teaches Spanish. For over 15 years she has translated poetry from Spanish and Italian to English. Anamaría is the recipient of two awards from the Arts Council of Ireland to further her writing. Her translations have won many prizes abroad and her own poetry has been anthologised in Census (Seven Towers), Landing Places (Dedalus), Pomeriggio (Leconte) and other publications. She is currently Translations editor for Colony Journal: www.colony.ie.
Nocturne for Voices One and Two
Nocturne For Voices One and Two is © Christine Murray (Published in Outburst 15)
Outburst 15 Preamble by Dr. Arthur Broomfield.
Christine Murray is a Dublin-born poet. Her chapbook, Three Red Things was published by Smithereens Press, Dublin (June 2013). A collection Cycles was published by Lapwing Press (2013). A dark tale The Blind (Poetry) was published by Oneiros Books (2013). She a book-length poem was published by Oneiros Books (2014). Signature a chapbook was published by Bone Orchard Press (2014).
|It was with great sadness that I learnt of the death of Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, Senior Lecturer of Early Irish (Sean-Ghaeilge), at the Centre for Irish Cultural Heritage at Maynooth University. Obituaries and remembrances are too formal a way to encapsulate the energies of the person who has passed away. What we may say about her on paper; on her authorship, her survivors, and her activities, pale in comparison to the ball of energy that she was. Muireann had a huge and warmly generous physical presence despite her tiny size. She was quite literally a ball of energy.
I first met Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin at the Four Courts, as one did during the campaigns that dominated the Celtic Tiger era. Protestors would be in and out of courts fighting on issues related to the complete destruction of any and all heritage laws by the Fianna Fáil Party who came up with new planning bills even as they tore down and scrapped institutions that were charged with the preservation of our natural and built heritage. News media would jostle to get near the government ministers who thought up new and ingenious ways to fast-track planning laws and ramming their tastelessness into property bubbles, bad housing, dublin satellites, and the ephemera of trash that can only be described as garbage politics. People like Muireann were almost criminalised for objecting to the fact that in the 13 years of political dominance by Fianna Fáil and it’s motley collection of political props, not one of them actually bothered to bring in a single heritage preservation bill. The media never asked why there were no heritage bills, they were busy selling houses for the government.
Muireann asked the awkward questions like why Dúchas was abolished by Martin Cullen TD, Why Bertie Ahern was so intent on a leadership that passed endless fast-track and Strategic Infrastructure Bills, and why successive Environment Ministers could not pass The Aarhus Convention into Irish law, they still haven’t. Why above all were we demolishing (‘Preservation by Record’) unique sites at Tara (39 sites were demolished) in the Gabhra Valley to allow for the M3 Toll Road. Decentralisation of protections like the OPW, and the defunding of existent preservation programmes were policies that ensured cheap housing and good profit to companies like the NRA (who also managed to take on the majority of archaeology programmes nationally) The media not alone did not trace these issues but they deliberately ignored or obfuscated them within a sugary silence that disallowed anything negative or challenging to emerge that might effect the status quo. There was no joining of dots, just a lot of quangoes and silence in the Tiger Era.
Despite this juggernaut of profiteering and short-termism, Muireann for the most part kept her temper and went into the courts, or she stood out on the Hill Of Tara in all weathers, or she waved orders into the faces of the Gardaí. She never cried in front of me but she witnessed a scarring and vicious tragedy that seems to encapsulate the appalling recklessness and greed of the Tiger Era. It was a devastation that was fuelled by greed and lack of education: bulldoze everything and make some cheap tract housing , extend the Dublin suburbs into Meath and while we are at it make a tidy little profit from unhooking all laws that preserve our unique heritage. Gombeenism is not the word for it.
Muireann’s gentler side emerged when she involved herself in cultural events like the Feis Teamhair where poets like Peter Fallon, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Susan McKeown and more came yearly to Tara to raise cultural voice and to sing their protest. It was probably at Feis Teamhair that I last saw her turn back toward someone who grabbed her arm and asked her a question or greeted her warmly.
We make public poets, great men and women who are imprisoned in the media glare. We want them to represent all that is good in Ireland, and we consign the irritating questioners to the margins. Muireann was an irritating questioner, a restless and enthusiastic spirit, a friend and colleague of great poets, she defended and embraced our literary and poetic heritage with all her health and drive.
She has not lived as long as those she opposed, but her name is inscribed in the history of Tara, a visual sign that people will battle great odds to illuminate truths that politicians and their wordless and grey supporters ignore. Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin has died a respected and feisty woman, unlike the liars she challenged daily and I will miss her big heart.
Rest in Peace Muireann x
Christine Murray (published at The Bogman’s Cannon )
Walk with me (for my Dad)
Self Portrait as She Wolf
The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife
Woman of the Atlantic Seaboard
To the last Neolithic farm woman of Céide Fields
The Snow Woman
‘Self Portrait as a She Wolf‘ and other poems published here are © Breda Wall Ryan
|Breda Wall Ryan grew up on a farm in Co Waterford and now lives in Co. Wicklow. She has a B.A. in English and Spanish from UCC; a Post-graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and an M.Phil. in Creative Writing (Distinction) from Trinity College, Dublin. Her awarded fiction has appeared in The Stinging Fly, The Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories 2006-7 and The New Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction. Her poems have been published widely in journals in Ireland and internationally, including Skylight 47, Ink Sweat and Tears, Deep Water Literary Journal, And Other Poems, Fish Anthology, Mslexia, The Ofi Press, Orbis, Magma and The Rialto. Her first collection, In a Hare’s Eye, was published by Doire Press in 2015. A Pushcart and Forward nominee, she has won several prizes, most recently the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, 2015.|
Cleaving a Puzzle-Tree
Inside the sloe,
|Doireann Ní Ghríofa is an award-winning bilingual poet, writing both in Irish and in English. Paula Meehan awarded her the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary 2014-2015. Her collections are Résheoid, Dúlasair (Coiscéim), A Hummingbird, your Heart (Smithereens Press) and Clasp (Dedalus Press). Her work is regularly broadcast on RTE Radio One. Doireann’s poems have previously appeared in literary journals in Ireland and internationally (in Canada, France, Mexico, USA, Scotland and England). Two of her poems are currently Pushcart Prize nominated.
www.doireannnighriofa.com & DoireannNiG
Thanks to Michael J Whelan for this post on ‘And Agamemnon Dead: An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry’
Originally posted on Michael J. Whelan - Writer:
Hi everyone, I’m really happy to announce that a brand new anthology of contemporary Irish poetry has been published today (St Patrick’s Day) in Paris and I am also delighted to say that I have five poems included in the collection alongside a number of exciting and interesting new voices coming out of Ireland in the these early years of the 21st Century.
And Agamemnon Dead An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry, Edited by Peter O’Neill & Walter Ruhlmann is published by Muavaise Graine (Paris 2015) –
and among its 187 pages you will find poetry from
Michael McAloran — Amos Greig — Dylan Brennan — Christine Murray — Arthur Broomfield — Peter O’ Neill — Rosita Sweetman — Michael J. Whelan — Anamaría Crowe Serrano —…
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The fact that a new generation of emergent writers must await vehicles like Poetry Ireland Introductions to find an audience stinks of a paternalistic approach to poetic works that sees a few dominant poets stand between the reader and the work, as if it were radioactive. The poetry audience is not remedial and they like to go searching, hence from Ireland they will go to where accessibility is respected, to UBUWEB, to PENNSound, to Jacket2, to The Electronic Poetry Center.
Originally posted on The Bogman's Cannon:
The Electronic Poetry Center (U.S) was founded in 1995. UBUWEB was founded by Kenneth Goldsmith in 1996, it is an audio archive housing avant-garde works including visual, concrete and sound poetry, UBU also holds film files. PENNSound was founded in 2003. To date, not one Irish University has made a step towards providing accessible poetry archives in Ireland. Poetry Ireland has not gone an inch toward increasing accessibility to Irish audio poetry. Why is this ?
Whatever way we choose to look at this situation, we can see that despite the tourist push on arts here, we are one to two generations behind best practice in the area of accessibility to audio poetry. Instead we have a focus on pushing a few poets, mainly to the American market, and beneath the colossus-like feet of the Yeats, the Muldoons, the Heaneys, and the presidential poets, the green shoots are strangled and…
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Hades to Persephone
Demeter Does Not Remember
Soon It Will Be Winter
Demeter: Coming of Age
|Dear Freda Laughton, Your Poems are being discussed at Jacket2 Magazine:
Walt Hunter writes for Jacket2 on Dave Lordan’s interview with Emma Penney about the modern Irish woman poet Freda Laughton. Freda Laughton was born in Bristol in 1907 and moved to Co. Down after her marriage. She published one collection of poetry, A Transitory House, in 1945 but little else is known about her life and work. She may have lived in Dublin for sometime, as her poem The Welcome details the textures of Dublin City and its suburbs, and suggests she knows the city by heart. Her date of death is unknown.There are some Freda Laughton poems published on Poethead here.
Becoming a Woman
The Tree of Time
This is a magical time.
Originally posted on The Bogman's Cannon:
Who is Freda Laughton, and what trail has led you to her?
There are very few ‘facts’ about Laughton. She was born in Bristol in 1907, moved to Co. Down early in her life and married. Her first and only collection of poetry, A Transitory House, was published in 1945 and she was a regular contributor to The Bell magazine. Despite this, there is no available death record for Laughton.
This lack of critical interest in Laughton reflects the selective vision of literary traditions which often exclude poets who do not fit with the contemporary moment or who may trouble the formation of new movements. Irish critics during the 70’s and 80’s held Eavan Boland to be the first writer to express what ‘poetic being’ was for a woman; the first to express the domestic; motherhood; the first to map Dublin city as a woman. Laughton expresses all of…
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Deserted Village, Achill Island
Notes for an exhibit
Madam Butterfly at Beaumaris
‘Heaven Scent’ Magnolia
First published in Abridged and subsequently in Of Birds and Bones
Le Jardinier Vallier
First published in Small Lives (Poddle Publications) and subsequently in Of Birds and Bones
The Suitcase of Bees
Originally posted on Tom D'Evelyn's Blog:
This poem by Christine Murray is more than a text. I have been wanting to say something about it; today, having spent some time with Sinead Morrissey’s “Yard Poem” from the acclaimed Parallax (2013), I have a focus. “Yard Poem” is a very well-written, indeed sumptuous poem, a gorgeous outrageously conceived and executed text. “The Brightest Jewel” is something different. They are both poems but Murray’s poem somehow exists off the page. It creates its own spaces within spaces.
The note at the bottom of the text (which includes a second version of the poem which I won’t discuss at this time) refers to a place and an occasion: The National Botanic Gardens share the both River Tolka and a perimeter wall with Glasnevin Cemetery, wherein a plot known as ‘The Angels Plot’, a possible resting place for my infant brother, although there are no records.
Between the river and…
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Adagio for Strings
The Golden Hare
Written for Master Daire James Mc Faul of Rathlin Island
|Living in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Shirley McClure won Cork Literary Review’s Manuscript Competition 2009 and Listowel Writers’ Week Originals Poetry Competition 2014. Her collection, Who’s Counting? is available from Bradshaw Books or via http://www.thepoetryvein.com/. She facilitates creative writing courses and workshops.|
Encounters with a Hare
Prayer for my New Daughter
A soul in chrysalis, in first agonized molt,
Gratitude for an Autistic Son
Rebecca Foust’s most recent book, Paradise Drive, won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry. Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence and is the recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place and the MacDowell Colony. New poems are in the Hudson Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Omniverse, and other journals, and an essay that won the 2014 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Award is forthcoming in the Malahat Review.
Rebecca Foust Website
Eamon Ceannt Park; a cycle
It is dark beneath the tree.
The rising sun has not yet caught
A clutter of dry debris, a black feather
She would sing him if only he let her.
“Intreat me not to leave thee
‘Eamon Ceannt Park; a cycle’ by Christine Murray was first published at Bone Orchard Poetry Ezine and collected then in Cycles (Lapwing Press, 2013)
The Boom and After the Boom
The river surface offers
Latvians and Lithuanians
Winter gales have made swift work
Curator | Poetry Now 2015
Mountains to Sea Book Festival
Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Curator | The Dock
Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim
Where it Led You
(for John Maggio)
Cherry Smyth is an Irish writer, living in London. Her first two poetry collections, When the Lights Go Up, 2001 and One Wanted Thing, 2006 were published by Lagan Press. The Irish Times wrote of this collection: ‘Here is clarity and realism, couched in language that is accessible and inventive. The title poem carries all Smyth’s hallmarks: precision, linguistic inventiveness and joy.’ Cherry’s work was selected for Best of Irish Poetry, 2008, Southword Editions and The Watchful Heart: A New Generation of Irish Poets, Salmon Press, 2009. Her third collection Test, Orange, 2012, was published by Pindrop Press and her debut novel, Hold Still, Holland Park Press, appeared in 2013. She also writes for visual art magazines including Art Monthly. She is currently a Royal Literary Fellow.
After my son was born
Service Not Included
Ailbhe Darcy was born in Dublin in 1981 and grew up there. Her first full-length collection, Imaginary Menagerie, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2011 and shortlisted for a Strong Award. A poem from the collection was chosen by the Guardian newspaper as their “poem of the week.” Selections of work appear in a chapbook, A Fictional Dress (2010) and in the anthologies Identity Parade, Voice Recognition and If Ever You Go.
First published in Mslexia, 2012
Against the flow
First published in Ambit, 2013
First published in Poetry Wales, 2013
On the Boat
Originally posted on Poethead:
My thanks to Matthieu Baumier, editor at Recours au Poème , and to Elizabeth Brunazzi, who published and translated four poems from my collection, Cycles (Lapwing Publications, 2013).|
I am adding here Elizabeth’s translation of i and the village (after Marc Chagall)
moi et le Village
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An excerpted section from Un-Sight/Un-Sound is available on my Open Salon Blog
Originally posted on gnOme:
un-sight un-sound/ yet/ in vacuum of doubt’s expel/ clamouring for beyond flesh what meat as if/ yet forage no/ not a/ eye crushed within fist of none/ echoing chamber of nothing/ never dispelled
Un-Sight/ Un-Sound (delirium X.) is a prose-poetic work in three sequences: “delirium X,” “Meat Sequence (after Francis Bacon),” and “Ghost-Limb Tongue.” In the first, quotations from various authors (Bataille, Beckett, Luca, Popa et al.) are used as springboards for surreal imagistic fragmentation. The second section, inspired by Deleuze’s Francis Bacon, deals with the subject of flesh/ meat and explores the concept of the human object divulged of identity/ place, stripped of ego, and viewed from an externus. The third section addresses the conflict between sense and the real and concludes with a collection of aphorisms written with regard to words becoming a bankrupt form of…
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When I look back I seem to remember singing.
Impenetrable, those walls , we thought,
Fable is © Doris Lessing (1919-2013)
Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing (1919-2013) was a novelist, poet, and sci-fi writer. This appreciation of Doris Lessing was first published on the Women Writers, Women’s Books Site in 2013 with thanks to Anora McGaha, and to Barbara Bos who live edited the piece at the time of writing. Thanks to Olivia Guest at Jonathan Clowes Ltd who has allowed me carry Poems by Doris Lessing here at Poethead.
|When a person of great age dies, there are many responses about the richness of their life and how we have been blessed by their presence for so long in our world. Yet for me there was and is profound sorrow at the loss to us of Doris Lessing Nobel Laureate, author, philosopher and poet. I do not delude myself that my sorrow is one of intimate connection to her, a whole generation of women writers have that connection to her voice.
My connection to Doris Lessing’s writing began in my twenties when I first read The Golden Notebook, I read almost all her work after that. I am unsure of where the gut tear occurred with my reaction to her work, but here was a writer who did things that I admired. It was difficult to locate her effect on me, but I knew it and recognised it as important to my writing.
Living in Dublin city, I often retreat to a small house in Mayo, where my now deceased friend, Michael McMullin, a philosopher and jungian, had retained a library. His Doris Lessings were collected on the top shelf of his library, alongside some images of Chartres Cathedral, and his Yeats collection. Like Lessing he had attained a great age and had a voracious thirst for knowledge, he was born in Ceylon in 1916.
Michael’s assidious collecting of Doris Lessing was winsome, and he often referred to her. His nomadism had taken him from Ceylon, to Cambridge, to escape from Hitler’s invasion of Paris, to Finland, to Canada, and at the end his life, a hillside In the North-West of Ireland. I did not meet Doris Lessing, but I had met in Michael that intellectual and questing spirit that seems to inflame the diasporist writer. It can only be described as a great and humble presence, their being present to everyone who he/she encounters all the time.
Doris Lessing’s death brought back my own recent loss with a punch. I saw the rumours of her death emerging from early Sunday morning and waited to hear if it were true. My decision to go ahead and link the Lessing poems was an urgent need to show people that there was more to her output, although it is sadly unavailable.
Two years ago while re-reading Lessing in the Mayo library awaiting a death, the Lessing poetry began to make me a bit more than curious. On returning to the city, I thought to do some searches of her writing, as I was aware that she like Ted Hughes, had elements of Sufism in her writing. I was aware that she had written poetry but couldn’t find much. The place to look for the mythological, esoteric, and philosophical mind of the writer is in their poetic output. Poetry is the revelatory act of participation in the world.
Doris Lessing had written a small collection Fourteen Poems in 1959, published by The Scorpion Press, and she had contributed to the Inpopa Anthology (2002). Her poetry isn’t available online. The Scorpion Press Archive is housed at the McFarlin Library (Special Collections) at the University of Tulsa.
Alison Greenlee, Librarian at the McFarlin Special Collections Library located for me a copy of the book in my Alma Mater, University College Dublin. I made an appointment to go in as soon as I could and transcribed a selection of the poems for myself. The next step was to contact Jonathan Clowes Ltd, who are Doris Lessing’s agents.
Olivia Guest at Jonathan Clowes Ltd, Doris Lessing’s Literary Agents, worked on my behalf to bring Doris Lessing’s poetry back online. We corresponded initially by letter and I procured a temporary 12 month licence to add Lessing to my index of women poets. I wanted her to be recognised for her entire body of work and not alone the novels. After the initial permissions to carry the Lessing poetry were given, the first letter went awol and had to be re-issued, I put them up and shared them regularly across multiple social media platforms including FB, Twitter, Salon.
I wrote about the poems on Open Salon. There were 3,000 hits on the poetry over the two blogs. People contacted me to say that they wanted to read the books, that they had no idea that she was a poet, and that they were heartened to see a woman poet of great age appearing on their computer screens, as there is often a problem with having older women visible in the media.
The following year, I sent Olivia Guest a synopsis of the reaction to Doris Lessing’s poetry and we agreed to extend the licence for another 12 months. She was surprised that the reaction to lessing’s poetry had been so widespread and curious. I sent her screenshots of the data and emails regarding the works.
This year of 2013, I again contacted Olivia and reminded her that my licence to carry the poetry was about due to end and that it gave me great sorrow to take the poems off my index, people were always looking for them, they accounted for a lot of searches for women writers, alongside Dorothy L. Sayers and Nelly Sachs.
last week I received an email that made me sadder. Doris Lessing had little confidence in her poetry and her agents were happy to allow me keep them indefinitely because they did not see the possibility of a re-issue.
I was swallowed by a Harry Clark window.
The First Time She Painted Me
Night was published in Southword Literary Journal
Niamh Boyce’s novel The Herbalist (Penguin Ireland) won 2013 Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. She won Hennessy XO Writer of the Year for her poem Kitty in 2012 and her unpublished poetry collection, The Beast Is Dead, was highly recommended in the 2013 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award.
Entering the Mare
|All poems published here are from Rootling: New and Selected Poems published by Bloodaxe (2010). Entering the Mare originally appeared in 1997, in a collection called Entering the Mare. Confluence comes from Day of the Dead, a collection from 2002.|
Katie Donovan has published four books of poetry, all with Bloodaxe Books, UK. Her first, Watermelon Man appeared in 1993. Her second, Entering the Mare, was published in 1997; and her third, Day of the Dead, in 2002. Her most recent book, Rootling: New and Selected Poems appeared in 2010. She is currently working on a novel for children.
Her poems have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK and the US. She has given readings of her work in many venues in Ireland, England, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, the US and Canada. She has read her work on RTÉ Radio One and on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3. Her short fiction has appeared in “The Sunday Tribune” and “The Cork Literary Review”.
It Was For This
Kevin Higgins is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway City. He has published four collections of poems: Kevin’s most recent collection of poetry, The Ghost In The Lobby, was launched at this year’s Cúirt Festival by Mick Wallace TD. His poems also features in the anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and one of his poems is included in the anthology The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014). His poetry was recently the subject of a paper titled ‘The Case of Kevin Higgins: Or The Present State of Irish Poetic Satire’ given by David Wheatley at a symposium on satire at the University of Aberdeen; David Wheatley’s paper can be read in full here http://georgiasam.blogspot.ie/2014/05/the-case-of-kevin-higgins-or-present.html . Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews, was published by Salmon in April, 2012. Kevin’s blog is http://mentioningthewar.blogspot.ie/ . and has been described by Dave Lordan as “one of the funniest around” who has also called Kevin “Ireland’s sharpest satirist.”
Now I am a Tower of Darkness
The Woman with Child
Now I Am A Tower of Darkness, The Welcome, and The Woman With Child are © Freda Laughton.
|Freda Laughton’s poems were submitted by Emma Penney, a graduate of the Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College Dublin. Her thesis, Now I am a Tower of Darkness: A Critical History of Poetry by Women in Ireland, challenges the critical reception of Eavan Boland and the restrictive criteria, developed in the 1970’s, under which poetry by women in Ireland has been assessed. She considers the subversive nature of women’s poetry written between 1921 and 1950, and calls into question the critical assumption that Eavan Boland represents “the first serious attempt in Ireland to make a body of poems that arise out of the contemporary female consciousness”. In Object Lessons, Boland concluded that there were no women poets before her who communicated “an expressed poetic life” in their work. Emma’s thesis reveals how this view has permeated the critical landscape of women’s poetry, facilitating an absurd privation of the history of poetry by women in Ireland and simplifying it in the process..|
An Education in Silence
Letters from Mount Fuji
Pearls at Blackfriars
Dreams for Breakfast
Learning to Swim
Madame Matisse Is Shown Her Portrait, 1913
Sunday Morning, Lorient
|Hampshire College Halloween
Wearing prom pink with white gloves, I was hypnotised by my skirt spinning. Chuck and Mike were lazing on this bench – the moon was silver. And Andy walked by, dressed as Jesus in a long white toga, hair wavy like a midnight ocean. And he was carrying this crazy cross, big as him, and it was white in the moonlight. And Andy said “hey” and we said “hey”, and then Chuck got up and he was walking behind Andy, matching step for step. And I said, “Watcha doin’?” and Chuck said, “Following Jesus, Dude.” And we giggled and got in line and then we were all followers of Jesus. And Jesus led. And if Jesus drank, we drank; and if Jesus danced, we danced; and if Jesus did a bong hit, we praised Jesus, and did one right after Him. And we fell around giggling and Jesus giggled too. And He led us through the silvered night, and we were free; and no one got nailed to anything.
– Susan Millar DuMars
Susan Millar DuMars has published three poetry collections with Salmon Poetry, the most recent of which, The God Thing, appeared in March, 2013. She also published a book of short stories, Lights in the Distance, with Doire Press in 2010. Her work has appeared in publications in the US and Europe and in several anthologies, including The Best of Irish Poetry 2010. She has read from her work in the US, Europe and Australia. Born in Philadelphia, Susan lives in Galway, Ireland, where she and her husband Kevin Higgins have coordinated the Over the Edge readings series since 2003. She is the editor of the 2013 anthology Over the Edge: The First Ten Years.
|Solinus, on the authority of Camden,
incontrovertibly declares that there are no bees in Ireland.
Keating impugns both Camden and Solinus
stating Such is the quantity of bees,
that they are found not only in hives,
but even in the trunks of trees, and in holes in the ground.
Modomnoc the beekeeper, who was with St David in Wales,
was followed to Ireland by an adoring swarm of bees.
Writing in the 8th century, Bede the so-called Venerable
opines Hibernia … et salubritate ac serenitate aerum
… Diues lactis ac mellis insula … Or, so Google tells us,
Ireland has a fine climate, and is a land rich in milk and honey.
In 1920 Benedictine Brother Adam hybridized the Buckfast Bee.
According to The Economist in 1996 Brother Adam was
unsurpassed as a breeder of bees. He talked to them,
he stroked them. He brought to the hives a calmness that,
according to who saw him work, the sensitive bees responded to.
The Buckfast Bee – Brother Adam’s supreme though far
from only achievement as a breeder – is super-productive,
extremely fecund, resistant to disease and disinclined to swarm.
However, it cannot perform miracles.
Good St Bega could. She fled Ireland for Northumbria,
away from enforced marriage to a Norwegian Prince.
There she founded the still-extant Cumbrian coastal village
of St Bees, pop 1,717 according to the census of 2001.
Sometime after, although not too long after, 850AD, St Bega,
to gain the land on which to build her priory
from the goading Lord Egremont, made it snow
three inches deep on Midsummer’s Day. Yes, she made
it snow three inches deep on Midsummer’s Day,
dispossessing Lord Egremont, as well as, presumably,
seriously upsetting the bees as a consequence.
Bees and the Authorities is © Dave Lordan, from Lost Tribe Of The Wicklow Mountains
About Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains
‘It may be said, in truth, that he changed his manner almost for every work that he executed’, Vasari said of Di Cosimo, and in Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains Dave Lordan’s poems embrace a wide range of formal and vocal possibilities. Internationally renowned as one of the most inventive and provocative of Ireland’s contemporary performance poets, Lordan reinforces that position in this new collection. There are also poems here that demand a quieter hearing, however, including a long and powerful elegy for Denis Boothman and an urgent meditation on the scourge of suicide in Irish society. The anger that often characterized the poems of Lordan’s first two collections is transformed in Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains into profound explorations and expressions of loss, love and hope – ‘music as a possible sanctity’.
Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains is Dave Lordan’s 3rd collection of poetry and will be published shortly by Salmon Poetry.
The beauty of the game
for the moon to wax.
(first published by the Burning Bush 2)
Mulcair Lacking the romance of source or sea, this river middle, sectioned out in beats, is nonetheless a beaded string of stories, a rosary and elegy. Teens of the 1980s swam in jeans – our Riviera was the weir at Ballyclough, where we clambered weedy rocks and dove from trees, sloped off to smoke and throw sticks into the millstream – each day at four the river water ran from brown to red. The salmon steps were our jacuzzi, where Jacky Mull was held under by the current, re-emerging blue and slower. His life moved one beat down to the factory, Ballyclough Meats – leaning over concrete walls we watched him lugging piles of horse-guts – each day at four the river water ran from brown to red. Beneath the stone bridge lampreys shimmered, on the rocks – we dislodged them with rod butts till they coiled round our wellies, tumbled them onto the lawn at home. In the evenings we sloughed off our dark silty clothing, forgetful of our monstrous quarry, slowly writhing on the grass – each day at four the river water ran from brown to red. (first published by The Stinging Fly)