The Willow’s Whisper, a transatlantic compilation of poetry from Ireland and Native America.

Thank you to Julianne Ní Chonchobhair, who has facilitated this short post with information and articles on the poets.


A note about the editors of  ‘The Willow’s Whisper’

Jill M.O’Mahony is a Lecturer in The Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. She has previously studied English Literature and Sociology in  The National University of Ireland, Maynooth and The University of  Manchester. She is working on a doctoral research project which focuses  on performance, liminality and event in Native American Poetry. She  lectures in the Sociology of Consumption, Modern Ireland, Narrative  Identities and Communications. Her research interests include Political  Anthropology and Transcultural Literature.

Dr. Mícheál Ó hAodha currently works at the University of Limerick  where he lectures in the Department of History, School of Languages,  Literature, Culture and Communication, UL, Ireland. He has published  widely on many aspects of Irish migration, diaspora, social geography and  oral history – including American“Outsider”: Stories from the Irish  Traveller Diaspora. (2007) (with T.J. Vernon); The Stranger in Ourselves:  Ireland’s “Others” (eds. M.Ó hAodha, University of Limerick; D.  O’Donnell, University of Limerick and C. Power (Centre for Ethnicity and  Health, University of Central Lancashire, UK) (2007). Screening Difference:  Visual Culture and the Nomadic “Other” (with A. Huether and D. Waldron) (2009), Migrancy, Memory and Repossession: Women on the  Historical Margins (2010); His most recent book is “The Turn of the  Hand”: A Memoir from the Irish Margins (with Mary Ward) (2010). Between 2006 and 2008 he was an AHRC scholar in the School of Arts,  Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester. He has also written  fiction and poetry in collaboration with other Irish writers including Colum McCann and Gabriel Rosenstock. His next book is due out shortly  as part of the Re-imagining Ireland series – Peter Lang, Oxford.

I am adding here some release notes for the anthology will be released on the 16th of February 2012.

There is a Nomadics category in this blog, which looks at dispossession, migrancy, rootlessness, outsider poetry and diaspora. I asked Julianne Ní Chonchobhair if I could feature a poem or two from the compilation on this blog,  and she very kindly agreed. In keeping with the theme of the Saturday Woman Poet idea, I have decided to feature poet Allison Adelle Hedgecoke , with thanks to Julianne Ní Chonchobhair. Info about Allison Adelle Hedgecoke is available via the Poetry Foundation website.

The following is an excerpt from The Willow’s Whisper , a poem by Allison Adelle Hedgecoke.

Crossing Sky Vault Worlds

for Vaughan

Corn, Sunflower raise their faces toward Sun as she slides into
place among blue heavens.
Squash send floral swirls orange-red up into ground fog mist.


An ant angles his way watching constantly for morsels along the path.
Violet morning glories stream upward reaching with their petals
wide open for bursting light.


Rays split seams of blue casting hopeful yellow-white strokes
beaming brightly. Seasons later,
Red Sioux Quartzite speckled white by snow and fully ice-crusted,
holds firm hallowed Sioux Falls grounds nearby.


Glass flows, creating prisms in century-aged windows across this
room. Rainbows flourish here. Long ago,
Black Dog spoke to his master, foretold the coming world flood in
time for a raft to be built sparing Real People.


Children in Quebec, before encroachment, pleaded for maple
sweets each fall. Were pumpkin lanterns lighted?
In my Huron grandmother’s midwifing beaded bag, the entire
universe gleams at me through pointed stars in dreams.

© Allison Adelle Hedgecoke

A full list of the poets featured in the forthcoming  The Willow’s Whisper are included here , N. Scott Momaday, Allison Adelle HedgeCoke, Luke Warm Water,  Sherwin Butsui, Esther Belin, Joy Harjo, Nila Northsun, Joseph Bruchac, Donna Beyer (nee McCorrister), Travis Hedge Coke, Adrian C. Louis , Venaya Yazzie, Richard Van Camp , Odi Gonzales , Lee Maracle , Karenne Wood, Jules Arita Koostachin, Joan Kane,  Fred Bigjim.

The Willow’s Whisper, a transatlantic compilation of poetry from Ireland and Native America.

‘ haec fecit’ by Iosaf MacDiarmada

Haec Fecit

I find myself with schoolkids
answering dosser’s queries
be original I say and never
query that dodgy dossier.
The war brought Plagiarism
without “inverted commas”

A Limerick

O back in the days of yore
a scallywag feared what for
with a baitin by night
&an ungodly fright
sure the RA kept the peace in Donore.


A Ditty , By Ms Doyle:

War is very bad
and very very sad
too much blood
is very very mad
it makes me cry
Ow! Ow! Ow!
I cry.
too many words
too many men writing words
but it won’t make it go away.
But the war it won’t end
It won’t change the way it ought
Thank God I had that abortion
Somethings can be chosen
no matter what you’re taught.”

©Iosaf  MacDiarmada

The image is entitled ‘Eagle Communication’, by Artist Leonard Baskin ;  and is from his Raptors Folio.

These rhymes are published in opposition to censorship on Irish Indymedia  , which has seen a writer’s cull and general boycott. I will in future refer to indymedia.ie as  The Parish Newsletter :-)

‘ haec fecit’ by Iosaf MacDiarmada