Things I didn’t know I loved
(after Nazim Hikmet)
I didn’t know I loved windows so much
I didn’t know I loved bare feet so much,
I didn’t know I loved small islands of quiet
I didn’t know I loved the idea
I didn’t know I loved so many things.
from Bookmarking the Oasis(Poetrywala, 2015)
Looking for Light, Sunbirds
I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.
Looking for light,
Often, the only light to be had,
or remain, forever, bereft.
from Bookmarking the Oasis (Poetrywala, 2015)
Bookmarking the Oasis
I have been working for years
In the fall, the black bear
Note: The lines/phrases in italics are drawn from David Morley, Songs of Papusza (Section I), (Philip Larkin, The Trees (Section II), Derek Mahon, The Mayo Tao (Section III), and Mary Oliver, Some Questions You Might Ask (Section IV).
from Bookmarking the Oasis (Poetrywala, 2015)
What I Would Like is to be a Victorian Man of Letters
What I would like is to be a Victorian man of letters
No adolescent daughters abandoning dresses in contemptuous heaps,
On crazy days crowded with adolescent daughters and grubby sons, spouses, mothers and mothers-in-law,
I carry her around with me everywhere.
Do you remember?
“Bookmarking The Oasis” and other poems is copyright K. Srilata
September Tenth, 2001
(after Kevin Young)
Rain popping on the air conditioner
like a handful of pebbles against a window
you can make a story to explain
a hobo curled in the hay
a virgin with cold feet
a travelling salesman
the story makes no difference
Hit and Run
This seasonless attack on order’s wrecked
Something shifting low in my gut tonight,
Now that I’ve known you for twenty years
I mine own gain’d knowledge should profane,
They met together after a long time
“There will always be another test,”
The other knew a different way to lose:
They heard, somewhere around them, out of sight,
Iago’s Curse and other poems are © Liza McAlister Williams
Alexander Cigale has retranslated Anna Akhmatova’s “Requiem” for Project Muse. I have been following the translation process for a while and I thought to add links here for readers of Akhmatova, including Cigale’s translations of Anna Akhmatova’s Minatures and a link to “Epilogue” from Requiem, Via Moving Poems
This isn’t me, someone else suffers. I couldn’t survive that. And what happened, May it be covered in coarse black cloth, Let them carry away the streetlights … Night.
from Prologue (Requiem) by Anna Akhmatova translated by Alexander Cigale
Anna Andreyevna Gorenko better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova was a Russian modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.
(Source: Wiki : Site accessed on 02/08/2016 at Anna Akhmatova
Links to Alexander Cigale’s translations of Anna Akhmatova
Requiem by Anna Akhmatova ,translated from the Russian by Alex Cigale
Nurture and other poems are © Liz Quirke
Carvansarai of Night
-in the carvansarai of your glory-
tonight I am as joyful as the grasses
and full with the existence of my dream.
Kafes (The Cage)
Like a bird looking for its cage, I am flying around time In my chest, human voices… Then an army of ants dissolving -an ant is eating another- They call it a proverb as they pound on the country
Postfeminismus Silence becomes word drop by drop I am a woman, a poet in this nothingness that batters my body egg that leaves my womb every month has a legend in my body it has a trace my womenhood my Achilles toe my dog that barks every month a man can't be a poet a man can be a pen for a poet
Kafes (The Cage) and other poems are © Müesser Yeniay, translated by the poet.
|MÜESSER YENİAY was born in İzmir, 1984; she graduated from Ege University, with a degree in English Language and Literature. She took her M.A on Turkish Literature at Bilkent University. She has won several prizes in Turkey including Yunus Emre (2006), Homeros Attila İlhan (2007), Ali Riza Ertan (2009), Enver Gökçe (2013) poetry prizes. She was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Muse Pie Press in USA.
Her first book Darkness Also Falls Ground was published in 2009 and her second book I Founded My Home in the Mountains, a collection of translation from world poetry. Her second poetry book I Drew the Sky Again was published in 2011. She has translated the poems of Persian poet Behruz Kia as Requiem to Tulips. She has translated the Selected Poems of Gerard Augustin together with Eray Canberk, Başak Aydınalp, Metin Cengiz (2011). She has also translated the Personal Anthology of Michel Cassir together with Eray Canberk and Metin Cengiz (2011). Lately, she has published a Contemporary Spanish Anthology with Metin Cengiz and Jaime B. Rosa. She also translated the poetry of Israeli poet Ronny Someck (2014) and Hungarian poet Attila F. Balazs (2015). She has published a book on modern Turkish Avant-garde poetry The Other Consciousness: Surrealism and The Second New (2013). Her latest poetry book Before Me There Were Deserts was published in 2014 in İstanbul. Her poems were published in Hungarian by AB-Art Press by the name A Rozsaszedes Szertartasa (2015).
Her poems have appeared in the following magazines abroad: Actualitatea Literară (Romania), The Voices Project, The Bakery, Sentinel Poetry, Yellow Medicine Review, Shot Glass Journal, Poesy, Shampoo, Los Angeles Review of Books, Apalachee Review (USA&England); Kritya, Shaikshik Dakhal (India); Casa Della Poesia, Libere Luci, I poeti di Europe in Versi e il lago di Como (Italy); Poeticanet, Poiein (Greece); Revue Ayna, Souffle, L’oiseau de feu du Garlaban (France); Al Doha (Qatar); Tema (Croatia); Dargah (Persia). Her work appears in the following anthologies: With Our Eyes Wide Open; Aspiring to Inspire, 2014 Women Writers Anthology; 2014 Poetry Anthology- Words of Fire and Ice (USA) Poesia Contemporanea de la Republica de Turquie (Spain); Voix Vives de Mediterranee en Mediterranee, Anthologie Sete 2013 ve Poetique Insurrection 2015 (France); One Yet Many- The Cadence of Diversity ve ayrıca Shaikshik Dakhal (India); Come Cerchi Sull’acqua (Italy).
Her poems have been translated into Vietnamese, Hungarian, Croatian, English, Persian, French, Serbian, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Greek, Hindi, Spanish and Romanian. Her book in Hungarian was published in 2015 by AB-Art Publishing by the name “A Rozsaszedes Szertartasa” She has participated in the poetry festivals like Sarajevo International Poetry Festival, September 2010 (Bosnia-Herzegovina); Nisan International Poetry Festival, May 2011 (Israel); Belgrad International Poetry Festival, September 2012 (Serbia); Voix Vives International Poetry Festival (Sete), July 2013 (France); Kritya International Poetry Festival, September 2013 (India), Galati/Antares International Poetry Festival, June 2014 (Romania), Medellin International Poetry Festival, July 2014 (Colombia); 2nd Asia Pacific Poetry Festival 2015 (Vietnam).
Müesser is the editor of the literature magazine Şiirden (of Poetry). She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Turkish literature at Bilkent University, Ankara, and is also a member of PEN and the Writers Syndicate of Turkey.
“Phoenix” and other poems by by Müesser Yeniay
An Index of Women Poets
Blackjack; A Contemporary Volume of Irish Poetry (Singur Publishing, 2016)
Cover painted by Sorin Anca
|The twenty Irish poets translated into Romanian for this volume are: Afric McGlinchey, Billy Ramsell, Breda Wall Ryan, Christine Murray, Damian Smyth, David Butler, Dean Browne, Edward O’Dwyer, Eileen Sheehan, Eleanor Hooker, Eugene O’Connell, John W. Sexton, Leeanne Quinn, Maeve O’Sullivan, Mary O’Donnell, Nessa O’Mahony, Noel Duffy, Paul Casey, and Roisin Kelly.
The Blackjack translators are: Dr. Isabel Lazãr, Maria Liana Chibacu, Margento, Elena Daniela Radu, Mãdãlina Dãncus, Mihaela Ionitã, and Oana Lungu.
I would like to thank Dorina Șișu and Viorel Ploeșteanu for including my poems, Delicate, Pretty Useless Things and Descent From Croagh Patrick in this edition. Thank you for a lovely launch evening, and I would like to expand the Index at Poethead to include more Romanian poets.
From Parvit of Agelast
(Verse Fantasy, to be published by Arlen House in 2016. The poems below are aspects of the ‘real’ world.)
‘Your face is ridiculous: O. . . . . leeeeee ugly🙂❤ / thanks, sure i know !’ :L’ – Ciara Pugsley, ask.fm
net whn th little lite shinin frm abve doesnt n younguns mad fr luv r spected 2 b home thumbs go drum on magic pads n open windows so they travel in thr dreambots huntin souls they go weft upon th crystal warp unshuttled hookin up witout a plan 2 build a planet trances risin tru th base n snare of ask n tell wot u c is wot u feel n wot u feels rite tho snot a total giggle when th trolls r out —no1 knows th cause like with any freakin demic— bitch please u aint jesus wots wit all the posin howd u like my cock up ur ass, u cross-eyed ho som1 feelin tiny in the sprawlin fabric hauls back in2 her drum for a re-birth much 2 brite bodys blinded so her double takes it weepin 2 th woods to be an hero wit a reel hank o rope
‘…the body of Wafa became shrapnel that eliminated despair and aroused hope.’ – Adel Sadew
The Key to Paradise
You will be snatched back from the place of no landmark,
You will regain the unrivalled kingdom of your source,
Your lover will adore you under the great tree, and there
Best of all, you will be thought wise, not inessential.
Sleep is the only escape I have. When I don’t dare think, I dare to dream.’ – Jaycee Dugard
Each autumn, in Lake Tahoe, El Dorado county, CA,
that some unabused women sport as symbols of perhaps love.
Jaycee’s eleven were a tiny tint to that time spread,
That darkened in the backyard in the small shed where sleep
A pine can last a thousand years, an eye much less; Jaycee eighteen
You are alone in what they would call a new life. What they don’t know is that for you
Seeking maybe nothing, but in that mode, hiatus behind and before. It has seemed true
Entirely it might seem, but like minerals that leave a trace in water, small events make change.
Woven into your consciousness now like most of your clothes, but you wore this slinky to a
Flaunting was your wont in a sub-chador sort of way. Exclusivity was the bait, the prospect of
Back to where you sat huddled in a lone hut by a struggling fire, watching the small yellow flame
Grace was a false thing, you said, being rustic. But many thought you walked like a careless queen.
Indifferently endowed, you thought you were, and hardly cared, except for the faint sense
Showering in what was given, you might have made some plans, not waited for a suitor to tear
climacteric in the extreme
the room darkens. foetal faces draw spotlights from the dense matrix. she kneels. not a whimper but centrifugal quake and strain. ovular potentials huddle in lines for stringing crowded and frozen onto a tight choke. she hugs her shoulders, surrogate, unconsoled, and a creature leaps out, trailing chains, snarls and spits, goes surfing the tidal walls. he will not come again to her bucking bounty, her bawdy talk, her raucous primitive yells; she will not be the bright-haired goddess of the barstool, fabled and revered in ten parched villages. hail of the ripped legend falls in blades, a thing of flesh flames in the mouth of the monster and she recalls a hard prophesy told in the spring grass. lincolns rev on the melting brick informants crouch in a lonely copse and beg for mercy in the torture room the air sparks and yellows black seeps into old pictures and the girl with the lank dead hair creeps blindly from the screen. she probes her body and finds a silent blowhole. her fingers return a thousand red messages that pool and brindle in the cradle of her palms. if she screams she doesn’t know, but colours curry the weather pumpkin, desert and vulva, lunatic yellow, bum-in-the-gutter green. she crashes, glass and glint flinging themselves too, watches her eyes picked to the veined bone. girl, crook and goblet smithered on the lizard- dark floor.
(from ‘the second of april’)
I walk. Where is home except in repeated kisses of foot and ground. I am having affairs. With, for one, the bonded pavement, complicit as a slice of river. I glide on ice, step lightly on the unreflecting glass panel of a foyer floor. Nakedness is rare. I don’t tell how I used to take off my shoes and mesh my toes with sand. But even that was a skim. I slyly stepped on a rock and, recalcitrant, took off. I pause at running water and watch its inscrutable fingers take sun to rock in a work of art, then abandon it, dissatisfied. Among a tree I become a stretch of soil and burnt grass and harden. There are always tears. They seem to come from outside and wash me down until, like ivy, I am again rambling. On a tarred path my jaw is jolted by hard, inexplicable haste. My ankles wound each other. I bleed and wonder if I should spancel myself to slow. There are creatures who only pace the one field. Even a hobbled route finds knowledge. I look at my feet and don’t know them. Too long with my eyes on a misted goal has cost me my body. Happenings are always outside. Strange, when I see no walls. Where is the place of occurrence? I thought life was movement. Coming to gravel I have less ground and that brings thoughts of release. Water is too deep and I fear high places. To walk is the freest I can do and I wipe my tracks. What will pass is the breeze of a small body, non-native, a light touch on a puzzled cheek.
|O heart !
My tree is full of small birds,
I am below the level of the bee,
the wingbeat of the wren.
A new robin dapples through his
never-ending blue, green.
My tree flowers
beat red like hearts
in warm rings.
Morning in the garden is © C. Murray
Daughter of Sana
Maram Al-Masri is from Lattakia in Syria, now settled in Paris. She studied English Literature at Damascus University before starting publishing her poetry in Arab magazines in the 1970s. Today she is considered one of the most renowned and captivating feminine voices of her generation. Besides numerous poems published in literary journals, in several Arab anthologies and in various international anthologies, she has published several collections of poems. Thus far her work has been translated into eight languages. Maram al-Masri has participated in many international festivals of poetry in France and abroad. She has been awarded the “Adonis Prize” of the Lebanese Cultural Forum for the best creative work in Arabic in 1998, the “Premio Citta di Calopezzati” for the section “Poesie de la Mediterranee” and the “Prix d’Automne 2007” of the Societe des gens de letters. Her poetry collections include “Karra humra’ ala bilat abyad” (Red Cherry on the White Floor) and “Undhur Ilayk” (I look at you). (Source: Arc Publications)
Barefoot Souls by Maram Al-Masri (Source: Arc Publications)
“Barefoot Souls” was translated by Theo Dorgan
Theo Dorgan is a poet, novelist, prose writer, documentary screenwriter, editor, translator and broadcaster.
His poetry collections are The Ordinary House of Love (Galway, Salmon Poetry, 1991); Rosa Mundi (Salmon Poetry, 1995); and Sappho’s Daughter (Dublin, wave Train Press 1998). In 2008 Dedalus Press published What This Earth Cost Us, reprinting Dorgan’s first two collections with some amendments. After Greek(Dublin, Dedalus Press, 2010), his most recent collection is Nine Bright Shiners(Dedalus Press 2014). Songs of Earth and Light, his versions from the Slovenian of Barbara Korun, appeared in 2005 (Cork, Southword Editions). In 2015 his translations from the French of the Syrian poet Maral al-Masri, BAREFOOT SOULS, appeared from ARC Publications, UK.
He has also published a selected poems in Italian, La Case ai Margini del Mundo, (Faenza, Moby Dick, 1999), and a Spanish translation of Sappho’s Daughter La Hija de Safo, (Madrid, Poesía Hiperión, 2001). Ellenica, an Italian translation of Greek, appeared in 2011 from Edizioni Kolibris in Italy. (Source: Aosdána)
|Barefoot Souls by Maram al-Masri
Translated by Theo Dorgan
From | Arc Translations Series
About Barefoot Souls by Maram al-Masri Detailing the lives of Syrian women living in Paris, these poems, capturing the unheard voices of women whose lives are suppressed in unimaginable ways, allow us to explore moments never mentioned in the news reports. Potent and never failing to capture the essence of the feminine experience with a remarkable amount of insight.
Eve labouring for 37 hours; the yes poem
The Burning Tree
|I am very grateful to Carmen-Francesca Banciu for publishing my group of poems at Levure Litteraire 12.
From the editorial: The Camps of Resistance and Fields of Consciousness, is the theme of this issue. A wide field! A multifaceted theme that addresses many aspects of our time. When we chose this theme, we did not yet realize that the future contributions would be so inspired by the present and focus on specific aspects, such as (e)migration, exile, escape.The drama of flight, losing one´s home and a country – but even the ambivalent feelings toward the refugees- are the main aspects that have emerged from our topic. Many of our writers have dealt with the theme in an artistic, essayistic, philosophical form.
Impressive contributions resulted. Among others, even interdisciplinary projects were created, such as the cooperation between the Irish-American writer Emer Martin and the Indian-American artist Moitreyee Chowdhury, a joint video art, poetry and painting contribution. Or the contributions from Gesine Palmer, Sabine Haupt, Peter O’Neill – just to name a few out of the abundance of outstanding contributions.
Some contributions deal with the fear of the ever-increasing amount of war zones and therewith the consequences. Among others, the war zones heavily influenced by religion that endanger humanity by forcing them to act in violence, protest or to flee. The fear of new wars, violence–and terrorism. Implicit questions are asked about the consequences of war and poverty that result from the mass migration. The fear of the established political systems and lifestyles collapsing. The fear of cultures, religions and interests colliding and clashing. But also the aftereffects of ecological exploitation and natural disasters.
The Middle of April
|Fióna Bolger’s work has appeared in Southword, The Brown Critique, Can Can, Boyne Berries, Poetry Bus, The Chattahoochee Review, Bare Hands Poetry Anthology, The Indian Muse and others. Her poems first appeared in print tied to lamp posts (UpStart 2011 General Election Campaign). They’ve also been on coffee cups (The Ash Sessions).
Her grimoire, The Geometry of Love between the Elements, was published by Poetry Bus Press in 2013. Her work has been translated into Irish, Tamil and Polish reflecting the journey her life has taken.
She is a facilitator at Dublin Writers’ Forum and a member of Airfield Writers. She works as a creative mentor with Uversity MA in Creative Process. She lives between Dublin and Chennai.
from The Geometry of Love Between the Elements (Poethead)
Note: “Uptown” section 3, lines 17-32 (beginning with the line “I bring news” and continuing through “is my news”), is my translation of an anonymous 9th-century Irish poem beginning “Scél lemm duib. . .” (which also appears on a t-shirt made by An Spailpín Fánach).
| Michael S. Begnal has published the collections Future Blues (Salmon Poetry, 2012) and Ancestor Worship (Salmon Poetry, 2007), as well as the chapbook Mercury, the Dime (Six Gallery Press, 2005). Formerly editor of The Burning Bush literary magazine and formerly longtime Galway resident, Begnal’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Contacts for Michael S. Begnal:
|Could Beatrice write with Dante’s passion,
Or Laura have glorified love’s pain?
Women poets – I set the fashion . . .
Lord, how to shut them up again!
by Anna Akhmatova: 1960
Someday we may understand why the blatant copying of Ted Hughes’ & Heaney’s inspiration is acceptable to the Irish Poetry Editors who publish and award it as if it were something new ?
Weave your joy
We did not choose the sea
Round the rock
|Philo Ikonya is a writer, lecturer and human rights activist. She is the President of PEN Kenya. She taught semiotics at Tangaza College and Spanish at the United States International University in Nairobi. She graduated in Literature and Linguistics (The University of Nairobi) before reading philosophy in Spain and Italy. She worked as an editor for Oxford University Press (Eastern Africa). Born in Kenya, Philo speaks Kiswahili, Gikuyu, English, Spanish and some Norsk. She has a grasp of Italian and French. Philo is a mother of one. She is currently living in exile in Norway.
Her fiction includes two novels, Leading the Night and Kenya, will you marry me? She has published three poetry anthologies: This Bread of Peace, (Lapwing) Belfast, Ireland, and Out of Prison- Love Songs translated into German (Aus dem Gefangnis Liebesgesange). Philo is a Pan-Africanist.
-from PEN: http://www.pen-international.org/who-we-are/board/philo-ikonya/#sthash.tasg0SKN.dpuf
To a Writer
The Morning After
Christmas, Cork City
Roisin Kelly is an Irish poet who was born in Belfast and raised in Co. Leitrim, and has since found her way to Cork City via a year on a remote island and an MA in Writing at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Chicago, The Stinging Fly, The Timberline Review, The Irish Literary Review, Synaesthesia, Aesthetica, The Penny Dreadful, Bare Fiction, The Baltimore Review, Banshee, and Hallelujah for 50ft Women: Poems about Women’s Relationship to their Bodies (Bloodaxe 2015). More work is forthcoming in Best New British and Irish Poets (Eyewear 2016).
A sea snail, most precious egg, as if
This excerpt from “Delicate” is © Christine-Elizabeth Murray.
|When we widen the lens, the bigger picture can be divorced from the reality that we think we may have momentarily grasped. The above poem is an excerpt from “Delicate” which is being submitted to an Irish Journal at the present time. I expect I will publish the poem in its entire at some later point. BUT here the poem is performing an imagistic collaborative function and I am very grateful to Ari who notified me of the #BeautifulMars and #MarsPoetica project via the Poethead Contact form. I hope to have more news on #MarsPoetica for readers and contributors to the blog soon !|
|About HiRISE (HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGING SCIENCE EXPERIMENT): The HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the most powerful one of its kind ever sent to another planet. Its high resolution allows us to see Mars like never before, and helps other missions choose a safe spot to land for future exploration.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and is operated by the University of Arizona.
. Submit to MarsPoetica
|I have endured the scholastic training worthy of someone of learning.
I am versed in the twelve divisions of poetry and the traditional rules.
I am so light and fleet I escape from a body of men without snapping a twig,
without ruffling a braid
of my hair, I run under branches as high as my ankle and over ones high as my head, I scrape thorns from my feet
(not mine) while I run, I dance backwards away from myself, these rites
are quite common among primitive nations,
I am seldom admitted into the companionship of the older, the full privilege of the tribe, without them.
By Kathy D’Arcy “A Meditation on Ireland, Women, Poetry and Subversion” at the Honest Ulsterman.
|There is a narrative gap in Irish poetry that appears to the woman poet, her reviewer, and the poet essayist as ‘absence’, indeed as a type of intellectual privation. That a new generation of women writers are confronting Irish women poets absence from the canon, along with it’s previous attendant tokenism, is truly delightful to me. We are busily exploring emergent genealogies in Irish Poetry, or it could be stated that we are unhappy with what Eavan Boland refers to as a suppressed narrative. To bring forward a skewed national cultural narrative that disavows the woman poet’s place in the canon is to my mind culturally damaging. Not alone is it culturally damaging to present part of a narrative that claims the intellectual impetus in the imaginative creation of a nation, it is personally and professionally damaging to women poets and to nascent writers who are now devoid of their narrative heritage.
Alex Pryce confronts the absence of Northern Irish women poets in her thesis “Ambiguous Silences ? Women in Anthologies of Contemporary Northern Irish Poetry” I read about Pryce’s worthy thesis in Moyra Donaldson’s blog under The Influence of Absences sometime ago. I was so interested in what Pryce had to say that I downloaded the PDF from her Academia.edu account. At the same time, I was in conversation with Emma Penney who had sent me a copy of her thesis Now I am a Tower of Darkness: A Critical History of Poetry by Women in Ireland. Penney and Pryce are investigating and confronting the constructed heroic post-colonial narrative that has really has done it’s time by now. The post-colonial narrative beloved of some critics who would view the whole world as an extension of their ideation has been flogged to death. It’s over darlings. I grew up not knowing or studying any Irish women poets. The women writers that I read in college were Elizabeth Barrett-Browning (in epic poetry and quasi-feminism) and Virginia Woolf. It was as if women poets did not exist in Ireland.
Irish women poets have never quite left us however, despite their historical absence from anthologies and from third level academic study. There has been a slight recent improvement in the publication of women poets and in their critical review, but it is not enough. Our women poets emerge whole and singing in essays, in current blogs like in Billy Mills Elliptical Movements, and in lines of melody put through mine and others’ search engines. It is time to celebrate our absent poetry foremothers and to confront the indignity conferred upon Irish women poets who were thrown to the side in the search for a heroic poetry to express our chosen political-cultural narrative.
In her thesis, Now I am a Tower of Darkness: A Critical History of Poetry by Women in Ireland, Emma Penney 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. Emma Penney’s work centres around the poet Freda Laughton, her thesis was picked up by Jacket2 Magazine and The Bogman’s Cannon blog.
Kathy D’Arcy looks at the absence of Irish Women Poets in anthologies, and at literary feminism, in her “A Meditation on Ireland, Women, Poetry and Subversion” at the Honest Ulsterman,
In Catriona Crowe’s Testimony to a flowering, a marvellous essay on the erasures, faults, absences and blindness exposed for all to see in the first Field Day Anthology,
And yet, privations occur and recur in poetry lists, in national celebrations, and in other media or tourist-led strategies that consistently and poorly neglect the woman literary artists’ voice. I do not know if it is intellectual laziness, or if it is that the cultural narrative is so engrained that no-one questions the historical absence of women in Irish poetry? Indeed also in the theatre arts, as can be seen in the recent Waking the Feminists debacle. Maybe it is time to look closely at the Irish view of women that is set in stone in the Constitution and confront the idea that women literary artists fought for our cultural heritage just as hard as men did, but for some lazy and elusive reason, we refuse to celebrate their work.
Canto 1 of Dante’s Inferno
|Peter O’ Neill (1967) was born in Cork where he grew up before moving to live in France in the nineties. He returned to Dublin in 1998, where he has been living ever since. He is the author of five collections of poetry, most notably the Dublin Trilogy: The Dark Pool (mgv2>publishing, France, 2015), Dublin Gothic (Kilmog Press, New Zealand, 2015) and The Enemy, Transversions from Charles Baudelaire (Lapwing Press, Northern Ireland, 2015). In his review of The Dark Pool, the critically acclaimed American poet David Rigsbee wrote: Peter O’ Neill is a poet who works the mythical city of Modernism in ways we do not often see enough.’ (A New Ulster )
He holds a degree in Philosophy and a Masters in Comparative Literature, both awarded by Dublin City University. In 2015 he edited And Agamemnon Dead, An Anthology of Early Twenty First Century Irish Poetry with Walter Ruhlmann for mgv2>publishing, and mg 81 Transverser. He also organised Donkey Shots; Skerries First International Avant Garde Poetry Fest in May, this year. He is currently hosting The Gladstone Readings once a month in his home town of Skerries.
These poems were first published by Tears in The Fence and are © Kimberly Campanello
Kimberly Campanello was born in Elkhart, Indiana. She now lives in Dublin and London. She was the featured poet in the Summer 2010 issue of The Stinging Fly, and her pamphlet Spinning Cities was published by Wurm Press in 2011 . Her poems have appeared in magazines in the US, UK, and Ireland, including nthposition , Burning Bush II, Abridged , and The Irish Left Review . Her books are Consent published by Doire Press, and Strange Country Published by Penny Dreadful (2015) ZimZalla will publish MOTHERBABYHOME, a book of conceptual poetry in 2016.
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. Katie Donovan’s fifth collection of poetry, Off Duty will be published by Bloodaxe Books in September 2016. She is currently working on a novel for children.
She is co-editor, with Brendan Kennelly and A. Norman Jeffares, of the anthology, Ireland’s Women: Writings Past and Present (Gill and Macmillan, Ireland; Kyle Cathie, UK, 1994; Norton & Norton, US, 1996). She is the author of Irish Women Writers: Marginalised by Whom? (Raven Arts Press, 1988, 1991). With Brendan Kennelly she is the co-editor of Dublines (Bloodaxe, 1996), an anthology of writings about Dublin.
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.
The World Reduced to Sound
|Both a page and performance poet, Anne Tannam’s work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in Ireland and abroad. Her first book of poetry Take This Life was published by WordOnTheStreet in 2011 and her second collection Tides Shifting Across My Sitting Room Floor will be published by Salmon Poetry in Spring 2017. She has performed her work at Lingo, Electric Picnic, Blackwater & Cúirt Literary Festival. Anne is co-founder of the Dublin Writers’ Forum.
Anne Tannam’s website
After the storm
|Alice Kinsella is a young writer living in Dublin. She writes both poetry and fiction and has been published in a variety of publications, including Headspace magazine and The Sunday Independent. She is in her final year of English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and currently working on her first novel.|
Three Red Things
the three red things are:
a red umbrella with a black lace trim
Alfred Schütze’s The Enigma of Evil
a shopping bag, berry-red
And I am in the park,
its roots are moving beneath my feet.
within the silica of
beneath crystal swipe
into the exact point
A Stone Dress
material as silk-soft
rain sinews against and into
Tremor Of Rain
tremor of rain runs liquidly down the bodice and gather,
Three Red Things the title poem of Three Red Things was published by Smithereens Press in 2013.
Image: ” Lady in Red”, 1932, painting by Wilson Henry Irvine.
|I very rarely add petitions on Poethead, but in the case of The Abbey Theatre’s baffling exclusion of women artists from the 1916-2016 Centenary I am willing to make an exception for a number of days. The issue of authority in the literary arts has always been problematic in Ireland. In poetry, in literature, and now in theatre it is usual for exclusions to occur. That exclusion is hurtful, demeaning and abusive is too much for me. That I saw my heroine Olwen Fouéré holding up a bit of paper calling for parity of esteem this morning has really angered me. They should be throwing roses at her feet. The idea that a skewed exclusionary narrative represents the intellectual and creative development of the idea of ‘State’ is not on. It is not acceptable. Eavan Boland referred to the absence of women artists in the canon as a ‘suppressed narrative’, there are too many fine Irish women artists for this type of exclusion to manifest at critical junctures in state celebratory events, in this instance a centenary event.
Petitioning The Board of The Abbey Theatre, #WakingTheFeminists – Equality for women in Irish theatre
Background: On Wednesday 28 October, the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre, launched its programme to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising – an event that ultimately led to the founding of the Irish State. The Abbey Theatre and its members were actively involved in both the Rising itself and the debates around the founding of the Republic.
|From : Sign the Petition|
The carpenter’s daughter
It’s easier if you pick a moment
Inishturk and other poems is © Alvy Carragher.
|A Pushcart nominee, Alvy’s Carragher’s first collection is forthcoming with Salmon Poetry (2016). She has featured at events like Electric Picnic, Edinburgh Fringe Fest, RTE’s Arena and Cúirt International Literary Festival. She has a first class honours in her Ma of Writing from NUIG where she focused on poetry. Her work has been published in The Irish Times, The Boheymth, The Galway Review, Ofi Press Mexico, Bare Hands Poetry and many more. She is also an Award Winning Blogger at With All the Finesse of a Badger.
In the orphanage a child
© Michael J. Whelan (Published in Cyphers, Nov 2011)
GRAPES OF WRATH
It happens on a Thursday, just after 2pm,
A soldier climbs from the rubble limbs
© Michael J. Whelan
(Qana Massacre April 18th 1996)
You lay in your frozen field, slack-jawed at how you
I imagine the fears of your kin as they searched the high
© Michael J. Whelan
Published in And Agamemnon Dead – An Anthology of Early 21st Century Irish Poetry Edited by Walter Ruhlman & Peter O’ Neill (Paris, 2015)
The sodden fields are bleak, the road
© Michael J. Whelan
It’s raining, always is,
You’re not really afraid – for yourself,
No, you’re not afraid for yourself,
You – the uniforms that stormed into their hurting place
© Michael J. Whelan
Published in Three Monkeys, online magazine, Feb 2013
|PARADOX OF THE PEACEKEEPER IN THE HOLY LAND
I am forever walking upon the shore
betwixt the sand and the foam.
The high tide will erase my footprints,
and the wind will blow away the foam,
but the sea and the shore will remain foreverKahlil Gibran
In Lebanon I sought redemption
before these wars for modernity and religion
and the same priests parcelled out her favours to believers
the defence of Masada by Jewish zealots
who lit the path for Crusaders and the burial places of a thousand years
and where now the free man might dig with trowels once more,
and young girls might seek the damask rose in the gorges of forgotten ambushes,
they wait and pray looking up upon the many faces of the gods
© Michael J. Whelan
Published in A New Ulster, issue 32, May 2015
|Michael J. Whelan is a soldier-poet, writer & historian (Curator – Irish Air Corps Aviation Museum) living in Tallaght County Dublin. He served as a peacekeeper in South Lebanon and Kosovo during the conflicts in those countries in the 1990s, which inspires much of his work. He was 2nd Place Winner in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2011, Shortlisted in 2012 with a Special Commendation in 2013. He was 3rd Place Winner in the Jonathon Swift Creative Writing Awards 2012, shortlisted in the Doire Press and Cork Literary Manuscript Competitions and selected for the Eigse Eireann/Poetry Ireland Introductions 2012. His work has appeared in the Hennessy New Irish Writing 2013, Poetry Ireland Review, the Red Line Book Festival and many other literary magazines and newspapers. His poems were recently published in a new anthology titled The Hundred Years War published by Bloodaxe UK in May 2014.
Michael blogs at https://michaeljwhelan.wordpress.com/
Hitting to Hurt
(after ‘The Leaping Lamb’)
(meaning one who has been transformed)
The Living Room
Doorman at ‘Invisible Illness’
|Geraldine O’Kane is originally from County Tyrone. She has been writing poetry since her teens, and has had numerous poems published in journals, e-zines and anthologies such as BareBack Lit, FourXFour, Illuminated Poetry Ireland, Poetry Super Highway and more.
Geraldine is a regular reader at the Purely Poetry open mic nights in Belfast. She has previously been part of a local writing group at the Craic Theatre, and has performed some of her work in local theatres and at the Dungannon Borough Council Arts Festival. Her poetry is mostly inspired by observation and the human condition. She specialises in micropoetry. She held her first solo exhibition in the 2013 Belfast Book Festival, using art, dance and music to interpret micropoetry centred around the theme of relationships and decay.
The Poet O’Kane
|Since this plea was published at The Bogman’s Cannon, I have been notified that one Irish University has been creating a collection of audio poetry. This was brought to my attention via comments under the original posting. Please check out the Seamus Heaney Centre Digital Archive & The Queen’s University, Belfast, Archives.|
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, 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. Ireland is one to two generations behind best practice in the area of accessibility to audio poetry. We 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 lacking in sunlight. I try very hard to understand why the academic and poetic establishment have such a narrow and untrusting vision of contemporary poetry, and I cannot conclude but that it represents a ‘business’ approach to the arts. A conservative fear of being ‘found out’ for this lack has promoted a culture of safety, a critique grounded in a narrowly defined ideology that has destroyed at least a generation of young writers. Some poetry audio does exist via the Seamus Heaney Centre, or maybe hidden in the pages of the Irish National Broadcaster’s site. Even then they can be found scattered about the corridors of Youtube. This thinly scraped and scrappy approach to poetry audio illumines a lacklustre approach to the art which is just short of disrespect.
Poetry readers and writers are poorly served by critics who do not understand form, managers who do not understand process, and overweening established poets who feel that they must stand between the reader and the work. The reader of poetry is distrusted, is considered immature in their encounter with the poem! There is a contemporary poetry and it is thriving but it lacks good infrastructure Vis experimental spaces for emergent writers and the provision of audio spaces where we (the reader) can find poets like O’Driscoll or Ní Dhomhnaill speaking of their work and their interest in the process of creation. 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 Irish poetry audience is not remedial and they like to go searching, hence they will go to where accessibility is respected; to UBUWEB, to PENNSound, to Jacket2, or to The Electronic Poetry Center. I suppose that the difference between these places and the half-assed Irish approach to providing good accessible infrastructure and experimental workspaces to Irish poets, is that the nous necessary to set up spaces wherein poetry can grow and develop its audience is driven by the poets themselves who understand how to bring on the next generation rather than suppressing them! As an example of poorly thought out approaches to writerly encouragement, Poetry Ireland deleted its 12 year old forum in 2013, taking with it a space where poets did peer reviews and experimented with form. There was no portability to the archives, and the remaining poets had to go in and copy everything to archive it elsewhere.
Here are some ideas regarding accessibility and archive that might interest working poets.
There is a singular lack of cohesive thought given to platforming a generation of writers. There is a shabby merry-go-round approach to platforming the same 6-7 poets as representative of Irish poetry internationally, it is embarrassing. The looming gap in how we present poetry here, especially to our disregard for women poets is wrong, really wrong. Half of the poets we push have been dead years. Recently on St. Patrick’s Day the same bunch of poets were pushed out to represent Irish writing. In my opinion people will just stop listening as ossification sets in. The guardians of poetry do a generation of poets a disservice with their ego-trips and their lack of support to young poets, as my grandmother said fur coat, no knickers; we are all shop front, a tawdry mess.
Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus, by Diego Velasquez (1617-1618)
For Máire Holmes
Through the serving hatch, or silent butler,
The bowl, which is falling from the table,
With it, no doubt, the contents of the mortar;
Circumnavigating the room, bread breaks to thunder clap,
An unseen yellow dwarf, over one million KMs
Such are the scientific facts behind revelation.
And, such is how a particular convent in Seville
Although these astonishing figures only in part explain
Janus- His Mistress Responds
“O man magicked Evil with the first pelvic thrusts,
And Agamemnon Dead
The ovarian arms is the true embrace of all
Plato is truly the author to be despised,
Around the two burn the Herakleteon fire,
Through the equalling stratagem of the walk,
Janus- His Mistress Responds and other poems are © Peter O’Neill from Dublin Gothic (Kilmog Press, 2015)
… she believed she existed only
Scent of a Woman (Echolalia)
|Jennifer Matthews writes poetry and is editor of the Long Story, Short Journal. Originally from Missouri, USA she has been living in Ireland for over a decade, and is a citizen of both countries. Her poetry has been published in, or is forthcoming from Banshee, Poetry International — Ireland, The Stinging Fly, Mslexia, The Pickled Body, Burning Bush 2, Abridged, Revival, Necessary Fiction, Poetry Salzburg, Foma & Fontanelles, and Cork Literary Review, and anthologised in Dedalus’s collection of immigrant poetry in Ireland, Landing Places (2010). In 2015 she was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. A chapbook of her poetry, Rootless, is available to read free online at Smithereens Press.
if there are birds here
then they are of stone
draught of birds / flesh bone wing
claw in grass
rilled etch gathers to her nets
dust and fire / tree-step (again)
bird claw impinge and lift.
surely light would retain in
silica’s cast or flaw ?
by Christine Murray
from Deep Water Literary Journal 2015, Issue 2
This small poem — “bind” by Christine Murray — carries the jolt of discovery in its small body. It resists the imagination, as Wallace Stevens would expect: but only to that fine degree that aids discovery.
I’d say this poem has “the shape” of discovery. It has the inner form and concision of an archaic anonymous “fragment” from Homeric times: it brings us close to the origins of the craft of poetry. It opens with a note of critical mindfulness that recalls a pre-Socratic thinker against the mythical poets:…
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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.
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
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
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
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.
Something for Sunday morning
If you took a chance
After all that clatter
All that falling, can only happen once,
As an alternative.
Or you could just watch the wobbly poles
One way or another – you could choose
When Nuria tells me
Its neck has broken
I know this one
The first was a dream
But it was the illusion of the garden
The second is the story of an interview.
I remember I wore funereal black –
Then, just as I gathered
At The Gower when we walked
They’re all beautiful to me.
This past year or so,
Was it you I told the stories of the Hummingbirds to?
I heard Attenborough
How people have laid a corridor of sweetness
They are delicate and tiny in the dying of this light.
And then, there is another story–
Finally, here’s my last message
I found a montage
Between here and there
And, if you decide
And, if you need something for your hands to hold –
.And if you take that chance,
Then maybe, just maybe,
Something for Sunday Morning is © Maria McManus
Maria McManus is a poet and playwright. Maria’s most recent work is We are Bone (Lagan Press 2013). A screenplay adaptation of the sequence Aill na Searrach; The Leap of the Foals, was developed in 2013 with NI Screen as part of the Short Steps development process.
Of ‘We Are Bone’ the poet Joan Newmann said ‘A joyful read as if you are coming towards each reader with your arms held out.’
Between My Body and the World
Now Do not Tell Me of Men!
Flower Village, Do Not Tell Me Of men! and Between My Body and the World are © Müesser Yeniay
Once Upon A Time
The literal translation of this poem was made by Zuzanna Olszewska.The final translated version of the poem is by Mimi Khalvati
Once Upon A Time: this poem refers to a fairytale in which the hero sets off to fight the Black Demon, aided by the White Demon and the magic powers of a sack with a mirror, a comb and a strand of hair. Fairytales traditionally start with the refrain, ‘There was one, there wasn’t one, apart from God, there was no one.’
View from Afar
View From Afar is © Shakila Azizzada
|With thanks to Sarah Maguire director of The Poetry Translation Centre for facilitating my selection of poems by Shakila Azizzada.
The poems were translated by Mimi Khalvati and Zuzanna Olszewska for the Poetry Translation Centre
Shakila Azizzada is a poet from Afghanistan who writes in Dari.
Shakila Azizzada was born in Kabul in Afghanistan in 1964. During her middle school and university years in Kabul, she started writing stories and poems, many of which were published in magazines. Her poems are unusual in their frankness and delicacy, particularly in the way she approaches intimacy and female desire, subjects which are rarely adressed by women poets writing in Dari.
After studying Law at Kabul University, Shakila read Oriental Languages and Cultures at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, where she now lives. She regularly publishes tales, short stories, plays and poems. Her first collection of poems, Herinnering aan niets (Memories About Nothing), was published in Dutch and Dari and her second collection will be published in 2012. Several of her plays have been both published and performed, including De geur van verlangen (The Scent of Desire). She frequently performs her poems at well-established forums in The Netherlands and abroad.
|Máire Mhac an tSaoi poetry Original Irish versions followed by English translations
Máire Mhac an tSaoi (born 4 April 1922) is one of the most acclaimed and respected Irish language scholars, poets, writers and academics of modern literature in Irish. Along with Seán Ó Ríordáin and Máirtín Ó Direáin she is, in the words of Louis de Paor, ‘one of a trinity of poets who revolutionised Irish language poetry in the 1940s and 50s. (Wiki)
These poems are published courtesy of Micheal O’Conghaile at Cló Iar-Chonnachta. My thanks to The O’Brien Press for dealing so swiftly with my queries regarding sharing some poetry and translations by Máire Mhac an tSaoi.
Thanks to Bridget Bhreathnach at Cló Iar-Chonnachta for providing the physical copies of Mhac an tSaoi’s poetry, and to translators James Gleasure and Biddy Jenkinson.
Verily is © Ingeborg Bachmann, this translation is © Mary O’Donnell
|Ingeborg Bachmann was born in Klagenfurt, in the Austrian state of Carinthia, the daughter of a headmaster. She studied philosophy, psychology, German philology, and law at the universities of Innsbruck, Graz, and Vienna. In 1949, she received her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Vienna with her dissertation titled “The Critical Reception of the Existential Philosophy of Martin Heidegger,” her thesis adviser was Victor Kraft. After graduating, Bachmann worked as a scriptwriter and editor at the Allied radio station Rot-Weiss-Rot, a job that enabled her to obtain an overview of contemporary literature and also supplied her with a decent income, making possible proper literary work. Furthermore, her first radio dramas were published by the station. Her literary career was enhanced by contact with Hans Weigel (littérateur and sponsor of young post-war literature) and the legendary literary circle known as Gruppe 47, whose members also included Ilse Aichinger, Paul Celan, Heinrich Böll, Marcel Reich-Ranicki and Günter Grass.
(Wiki Extract )
Mary O’Donnell is the author of eleven books, both poetry and fiction, and has also co-edited a book of translations from the Galician. Her titles include the best-selling literary novel The Light-Makers, Virgin and the Boy, and The Elysium Testament, as well as poetry such as The Place of Miracles, Unlegendary Heroes, and her most recent critically acclaimed sixth collection The Ark Builders (Arc Publications UK, 2009). She has been a teacher and has worked intermittently in journalism, especially theatre criticism. Her essays on contemporary literary issues are widely published. She also presented and scripted three series of poetry programmes for the national broadcaster RTE Radio, including a successful series on poetry in translation during 2005 and 2006 called Crossing the Lines. Today, she teaches creative writing in a part-time capacity at NUI Maynooth, and has worked on the faculty of Carlow University Pittsburgh’s MFA programme in creative writing, as well as on the faculty of the University of Iowa’s summer writing programme at Trinity College Dublin.
And what is death, he asked, your mother’s or yours or my own? – James Joyce
At the English pub in Indianapolis, we discuss technology. He says he can already hear the robot’s footsteps on his grave. In the worst neighborhoods, the prairie is coming back. Cattails are pushing up through old sidewalks and nearly all the important species of sparrows have returned. A Future Farmer of America—in other words, a 14-year-old white kid from the pesticide-drenched heartland—slips backwards from a mall railing and falls to his death among the Super Pretzels and Dippin’ Dots down in the food court. I get reminded of incest dreams and the two I’ve had, one for each parent. My mother calls and gives me the run-down on which of her friends is on a morphine drip and which is in remission, and she tells me that when I get back to Miami I should get a job and always keep a full tank of gas. The homilitic style of evangelical Christianity is the same in Ghana, San Diego, Little Havana, and on Ellettsville, Indiana’s Hart Strait Road where in the abortion scene of the Halloween morality play she yanks a skinned squirrel soaked in beet juice from the screaming girl’s crotch and holds it up with food-service tongs before tossing it on a cookie sheet. You’ll have a clean slate if you accept Jesus, right now. We’ll all have a clean slate, if you accept Jesus, now. The body of Christ. Amen. The body of Christ. Amen. The body of Christ. Amen. Don’t drop it. Use a metal plate with a handle that could guillotine a communicant’s neck. And on the third day, I drank poitín at an Irish pub in Bloomington, Indiana, in fulfillment of the scriptures. Take this, all of you, and drink it. This is the bloodshine of the newest and most everlasting covenant. Don’t drop it.
Death is a real bummer. We live through and for our parents and still Freud was wrong. You should hurry up and put your face right in it for an hour and that is definitely a sacrament, more so than that night in Garrucha at the misa flamenca, though the music was nice. Even the Sanctus didn’t offend me. Finally, I would add that the world is falling apart, always has been, ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerent, etc., and that my favorite sounds are when you say things like, Everything is fine, or, That cunt is mine. I hear them and I clench and unclench and I. love. you.
Tell me it’s too much. Amen.
Let us kneel down facing each other, holding razors.
Sanctus is © Kimberly Campanello, from Consent. Published Doire Press, 2013
Kimberly Campanello was born in Elkhart, Indiana. She now lives in Dublin and London. She was the featured poet in the Summer 2010 issue of The Stinging Fly, and her pamphlet Spinning Cities was published by Wurm Press in 2011 . Her poems have appeared in magazines in the US, UK, and Ireland, including nthposition , Burning Bush II, Abridged , and The Irish Left Review .
Pic by Brian Kavanagh
Dawning on the Square
There’s no place like…
While girls my age were toddling in heels
You were the one I could always trust Yet now this friendship is rust Maybe it’s since we both changed, Or possibly after my diagnosis your priorities rearranged. I came to you tears in my eyes, vulnerable bare Despite the contoured fake smile It was obvious you didn’t care. So here I am after falling down Begging for company, comfort, a friend anything While you stand high and mighty wearing the crown. I guess it took the hard way to learn my lesson You want a friend for photos and to like your posts Nothing real just followers like ghosts. As I try to rebuild taking it slow There’s something I want you to know Being “fab” make-up and selfies will all fade But you’ll always be the bitch Who treated me like a grenade.
While girls my age were toddling in heels and other poems are © Ruth Elwood
|Ruth Elwood is an eighteen year old Galwegian native. She attends a creative writing class for beginners taught by Kevin Higgins. She has read twice at the Over The Edge public readings. One of her poems was published in a new digital magazine The Rose. She is currently on a gap year and is hoping to study Arts with Creative Writing this September.