Arts Council Travel and Training Award

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I’m beyond grateful to the Arts Council of Ireland for a Travel and Training Award which will allow me to spend 2 weeks this month on the island of Thasos in Greece, studying poetry with the amazing Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Greece is a country that’s very close to my heart–I spent some time on the island of Kefalonia last year, and having minored in Ancient Classics in my undergrad degree I am hoping to write a series of poems that reinterpret Greek myths and legends from a feminist and personal perspective.

Perhaps that’s easier said than done. For now, here’s a poem of Aimee’s from the Poetry Foundation.

Invitation by Aimee Nezhukumatathil


Poem of the Day: ‘Achill Killeen’ by Eva Bourke




Achill Killeen by Eva Bourke


Early morning.
The holiday cottages across the bay are tired
from rowing all night through the surf
and lay their oars aside.

Far out between two rocks the sun opens
a blue door and ushers a trawler and crew
into the glittering high rise of the day.


A tortoiseshell butterfly leads me
to where the waves unravel
all over the sand.
It is a scrap of the lost map
of the island blown here and there
with its brown wings
and delicate black delineations.


I stand in a field above the sea strewn with pieces
of white quartz
each marking a child’s grave.

The stones are bright lamps lifted
out from the earth and placed
on a makeshift altar:

the old gods have come down
from the mountains
to watch over the field in pity and silence.


The children had slipped out of reach
and into the earth so fast
their names were not written on stone.

But the young parents who knelt
on the hillside knew them by heart—
grief they were called, loss and anguish.


All day a mild wind rakes the grass
and the clouds rush their cargo
of birds eastwards.
All day my feet go
here and there—all day my heart
wants to stand still.

A killeen was a graveyard for children who died unbaptised.

from THE SHOp

Winner of Fish Poetry Prize 2017


Words cannot express how delighted I am to have won the Fish Poetry Prize 2017.

It’s an unbelievable honour and I’m still coming to terms with it.

Judge Jo Shapcott chose my poem ‘Paris, 13 November 2015’ as the winner of the competition, saying, ‘Love and violence collide in this poem.  The way the writer interleaves terror and passion makes for a remarkable, tender and terrifying work.’

Warmest thanks to Jo and to everyone at Fish.

You can read the list of winners along with those short- and longlisted here.

‘Remarkable Emotional Range’: Alison Brackenbury Reviews Rapture



I am so happy with the review of Rapture by Alison Brackenbury that appears in the latest issue of the PN Review, below.

Rapture, Roisin Kelly’s first pamphlet, brings exuberant colour: ‘June comes to the sky above Leitrim / and Mars is as red as a rose’. Her writing is eagerly physical. Love ‘can be […] like biting into fruit / below the sun, into the juice and pulp of it’. Words addressed to the smallest souvenir ring with tenderness: ‘Little matchbox’… Kelly’s lines carry passionate echoes of liturgy: ‘With your blue sweater, my body worships you’. With ecstatically long vowels and singing sound, these poems are a feast.

Even loss, in Rapture, is transfigured to a constellation: ‘My ex-boyfriend turned lonely Orion’. The poems’ boldness of statement grows almost proverbial: ‘the breakfast table / of love has wrecked many ships’. This brief collection shows remarkable emotional range. Kelly leaves the reader afloat on a tide of colour, her ‘comet’s tail of old ice and stardust / on its way to the red heat of its marriage bed’.


Poetry Day Ireland & Butlers Chocolate Cafes

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I’m excited to see my poem ‘October, Cork City’ printed on mini cards to be made available in Ireland’s Butlers Chocolate Cafes in association with Poetry Day Ireland 2017.

Other poems with a similar chocolate/coffee vibe will also be featured on cards and posters in Butlers on April 27.

‘October, Cork City’ was reprinted from Rapture and originally appeared in The Stinging Fly.





8 poems at Stinging Fly’s online archive

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The Stinging Fly has created a beautiful online archive of work that has appeared over the years in their magazine, including 8 of my own poems.

‘Amsterdam’, ‘Glenveagh’, ‘Persimmons’, ‘Ode to Love’, ‘October, Cork City’, ‘Rapture’, ‘The Unicorn Children’ and ‘Hades’ can now be accessed here, with ‘Amsterdam’ available to non-subscribers.