I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Bonny Cassidy last December in the Abbey. Bonny, an Australian poet, visited Ireland last year as part of the Australian Poetry International Tour of Ireland programme – a really interesting programme which brings a number of poets to our shore each year. We discussed my thoughts on the Irish poetry scene, what it’s like to work in the arts, and how I make space for writing.
Bonny also interviewed a number of other Irish poets, including Billy Ramsell, and I’ll be interested to read all the interviews in the coming weeks to see where our notions overlap or diverge. Keep an eye on the Australian Poetry website.
I was surprised and delighted to see this essay on my poem ‘Egrets in the Tolka’ appear on Tom D’Evelyn’s always engaging and intelligent blog. Strangely enough, this was a poem I agonised over right at the end of the editing process – it was touch and go as to whether it would make it or not. I’m glad I included it now, as it’s been singled out for mention a few times.
Here’s a sample of some gorgeous work by Helena Nolan, who will be kicking off events at this Wednesday’s Double Shot@ Books Upstairs by reading a few poems. We’re looking forward to hearing her read alongside Breda Wall Ryan and Martin Dyar:
The Adulterers’ Lunch
We are eating time.
Before the wine is served
Across our plates.
The first course is all brittle –
The second course is fish;
Briefly teeth sink into flesh
Taste a pillow of polenta,
Sample sauce – a silky sheen.
Coffee is bitter afterwards;
Despite our best intent,
There is never enough time
Helena Nolan is a poet and short fiction writer from Dublin. Helena has been selected for this year’s Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and will read as part of the International Literature Festival in May. She won the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2011, having come second in 2010. She was shortlisted for a Hennessy Award in 2013 and has featured in a n…umber of National & International Poetry Competitions, including Strokestown, Fish, The Kilkenny Broadsheet, Anam Cara & RTE/John Murray Show. Her work has appeared in a range of publications including; The Irish Times, The Irish Independent/New Irish Writing, Poetry Ireland Newsletter, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and literary journals such as The Stinging Fly, The Moth and Abridged, as well as extensively online. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UCD.
It’s almost time for the final instalment of Double Shot, our pilot series of poetry readings at Books Upstairs. For those of you who haven’t made it along yet, Padraig Burke of Runaway Penguin has made us a fantastic video which really sums up the atmosphere of the readings. While we’re planning to do another series in the Autumn, you never know what might happen, so do come along on April 15th to hear fantastic readings by Helena Nolan, Breda Wall Ryan and Martin Dyar.
Doors are at 6.30 on the 15th and tickets are available here.
I was delighted to have Gareth Prior give my poem ‘An Education in Silence’ from Liffey Swim a close reading over the Easter break. Needless to say, it’s a rare pleasure to have someone engage in such a careful and considered critique of a single poem. I think that Gareth has made some really intriguing observations, many of which will help me understand my own approach that little bit better. Have a look, and do follow his always fascinating blog for a great insight into the contemporary UK poetry scene.
I had the great pleasure of hearing my debut collection Liffey Swim reviewed on RTÉ’s Poetry Programme last Saturday night, along with Dylan Brennan’s Blood Oranges. Philip Coleman of TCD gave really insightful reviews of both books and I was very gratified by the parallels that Philip drew between the two books, as I’m a big fan of Dylan’s work.
On tonights show we have the Pigott Prize shortlist & review Jessica Traynor & Dylan Brennan’s debut collections.
If you haven’t come across the Poetry Programme yet, do make it your business to listen in. It’s a great mix of work by up and coming and established poets, and has a fresh and contemporary feel. I think the half hour model works really well to keep the content lively!