bind, a waking book

I am a poet without a landscape, a woman poet without a narrative heritage
Irish Times. (Oct 19, 2018)

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Image: Detail of Bound / Boundless an artwork created by Salma Ahmad Caller in response to the poem. Photo © Christian Caller

I am a poet without a landscape, a woman poet without a narrative heritage. I began tracing the huge startling landscape of US and European women’s poetry while in college. I could not find its equivalent here in Ireland. bind reflects the facts of absence and fragmentation in my poetry landscape, and the absence of women poets in our cultural narrative. bind is a book-length poem loosely divided into chapters. These chapters act as boundaries within the action of the poem and provide gateways to differing aspects of the processes inherent in bind. The title of the book takes its name from the triple hyphenation that occurs irregularly within the first chapter. bind explores movement, objects and colours that occur in a no-place, a stasis, the fragmented landscape,
if there are birds here,
they are of stone.
draughts of birds.
the flesh-bone-wing
of ‘bird’

(from bindChapter One

read more here

bind (Turas Press, 2018) was launched in Dublin on October the 8th 2018. I include here, with thanks, some details from artist Salma Caller’s response to the text. This is a note of thanks and appreciation to those people who have supported the book from the outset. Liz McSkeane, at Turas Press has written an introduction here  She has taken me through the process beautifully, including a visit to the type-setter, discussions on the visual art aspect of the book, and at all times she has kept me up to speed with the process. Turas is a new press, I urge poets to explore the possibility of publishing there. Eavan Boland very kindly read the text and provided an endorsement for me. I have published the coda to the book and a short poem wing above. bind is a book-length poem divided into ‘chapters’ that act as boundaries within the poem, and as gateways as the poem progresses. The book is not consciously oblique, it charts a progression through a territory that defies description. It might even be said that the book is very simple, although I have tested that theory!

Acknowledgements are due to the editors of Persian Sugar In Indian Tea, York Literary Review, Levure Litteraire #12, The Honest Ulsterman, The Penny Dreadful Journal, and Compose Journal, who have all published excerpts from “bind”


mercury pool shatters

the challenge
of           wing.

bird skims black
ice bird skiffs
the tree pool


actual bird,
the image of a bird

the real thing of it,
grasps onto a branch.

             the iron of its grasp

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