RTE Poem of the Week

I got a lovely surprise this evening to discover that my poem ‘Hamelin’ from my collection Liffey Swim is this week’s poem of the week 0n RTE.com, nominated by the Poetry Programme. In fact, I was so excited when I found out that I treated myself by turning on the heating a full ten minutes early.


You can hear me reading the poem here, along with a review of Liffey Swim by Philip Coleman of TDC.

Liffey Swim Illuminated

Here are a few pictures from my collaboration with typographer Jamie Murphy of Salvage Press and artist James Earley to produce an illuminated version of my poem Liffey Swim. You can see a slightly different version of the series in the No. 9 bar in the Workman’s Club.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit James and Jamie at the printing room in NCAD to see behind the scenes, and also to sign some proofs. Typesetting is a fascinating and very difficult artform and I was intrigued to see that the tools and materials that they work with have changed very little over the past few hundred years. One of the more humbling aspects of the whole project was being told that the paper for the project was one of the last shipments from an Italian papermaking company that had just closed after being in business for 500 years.

I was also really impressed with James’s artwork, which manages to be both sinuous and choppy, organic and fragmented – you’ll have seen his stuff opposite the Project Arts Centre, at the George Bernard Shaw and on Blooms Hotel. Keep an eye out for their work at The Salvage Press and Inputout.

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Liffey Swim reviewed at Burning Bush II

The new issue of Burning Bush II is out, and there’s a great crop of new poems here from Jessamine O’Connor, Alan Weadick, Philip Cummins, Jennifer Matthews, Michael Ray, Fiona Bolger, Anne Tanam and Graham Allen among others. Great to see this consistently good journal going from strength to strength.

There’s also a review of my book Liffey Swim by guest editor Joseph Horgan, alongside a review of Mary Madec’s new book, and a review by Ailbhe Darcy of Dylan Brennan’s Blood Oranges.

Have a read here

Liffey Swim reviewed at the Cordite Review

I’m really delighted to see Libby Hart’s in-depth review of Liffey Swim  over at Australia’s Cordite Review. The review also contains an interesting reflection on contemporary Irish poets’ relationship with the island itself, and reviews of Kate Newmann and Robyn Rowland’s latest collections.

Here’s an extract:

“Liffey Swim is a confident first collection. The quality of its work guarantees that Traynor is a poet to keep reading and listening to. Her language is fresh, erudite and engaging. Her writing future is sure to be a bright one.”

Now g’wan and read the whole thing here.

Jessica Traynor’s Egret

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.

Close Reading of ‘An Education in Silence’

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.

Liffey Swim Reviewed on RTÉ’s Poetry Programme

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.

You can listen back here

The Poetry Programme

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!