‘Easter’ is Poem of the Week in the Guardian

It was a surprise to discover that ‘Easter’ was Poem of the Week in the Guardian. Obviously I was very cool about it, no big deal.

‘In America’ also appeared recently as RTE’s Poem of the Day in association with Poetry Ireland.

Both poems are from my first full-length collection Mercywhich I’ll be launching (digitally!) in a podcast hosted by Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

I’m very much looking forward to taking part in this event alongside Michael Gorman. It’s free, but has a limited capacity–tickets are available here.

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Strange Times

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Mercy, my debut collection of poetry, is now available to buy online from Bloodaxe Books, the Book Depository, and Waterstones.

It feels like a strange time to be publicising my book, especially as it was supposed to be launched today. Screen Shot 2019-06-06 at 13.10.16

 

 

 

I still hope to mark the publication of Mercy some time in the future; for now, I wish only to express my gratitude to Bloodaxe Books and everyone who made this possible.

You can read more about Mercy here.

 

Poem of the Day: ‘An Ordinary Morning’ by Philip Levine

An Ordinary Morning by Philip Levine

A man is singing on the bus
coming in from Toledo.
His voice floats over the heads
that bow and sway with each
turn, jolt, and sudden slowing.
A hoarse, quiet voice, it tells
of love that it true, of love
that endures a whole weekend.
The driver answers in a tenor
frayed from cigarettes, coffee,
and original curses thrown
down from his seat of command.
He answers that he has time
on his hands and it’s heavy.
O heavy hangs the head, he
improvises, and the man
back in the very last row,
bouncing now on the cobbles
as we bump down the boulevard,
affirms that it is hanging,
yes, and that it is heavy.
This is what I waken to.
One by one my near neighbors
open their watering eyes
and close their mouths to accept
this bright, sung conversation
on the theme of their morning.
The sun enters from a cloud
and shatters the wide windshield
into seventeen distinct shades
of yellow and fire, the brakes
gasp and take hold, and we are
the living, newly arrived
in Detroit, city of dreams,
each on his own black throne.

RTE Poem of the Week

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 11.11.28After its publication in Poetry Ireland Review, I was very happy to see ‘Dominío Vale do Mondego’ chosen as RTE’s Poem of the Week.

It’s available to read here.

RTE Poetry Programme

 

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I had a great time chatting and reading poems on the RTE Poetry Programme recently. The episode, which aired on RTE Radio 1 on October 7, 2018, is available to listen back to here. With many thanks to my fellow poets Sarah Byrne and James O’Leary, and presenter Olivia O’Leary.

‘Cosmic Latte’ Appears in Magma

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I have been trying to get published in Magma for years, so I am truly honoured and thrilled to have a poem in its latest issue. ‘Cosmic Latte’ is dedicated to the women in my life who are more amazing than words could ever say.

Cosmic Latte is the official name given to the colour of space, which scientists have determined is a shade of ‘beigeish white.’ Professor of astronomy Jeffrey Newman said of the findings, ‘Our result can be expressed compactly in haiku form:

Look at new spring snow –
See the River of Heaven
An hour after dawn.’

 

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Poem of the Day: ‘The Hay-Carrier’ by Paul Durcan

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The Hay-Carrier by Paul Durcan

Have you ever saved hay in Mayo in the rain?
Have you ever saved hay in Mayo in the sun?
Have you ever carried above your head a haycock on a pitchfork:
Have you ever slept in a haybarn on the road from mayo to Egypt?
I am a hay-carrier.
My father was a hay-carrier.
My mother was a hay-carrier.
My brothers were hay-carriers.
My sisters were hay-carriers.
My wife is a hay-carrrier.
My son is a hay-carrier.
His sons are hay-carriers.
His daughters are hay-carriers.
We were always all hay-carriers.
We will always be hay-carriers.
For the great gate of night stands painted red—
And all of heaven lies waiting to be fed.

‘A Master of Endings’: Poetry Ireland Review Critiques Rapture

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I am grateful to Poetry Ireland Review for including a review of Rapture in the latest issue of their literary pamphlet Trumpet. Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.24.39

The text concerning Rapture, which Grace Wilentz reviews alongside chapbooks by Ellen Cranitch, Julie Morrisey, Pardraig Regan, Victor Tapner, and Michael Naghten Shanks, is featured below. The Winter 2017/18 issue of Trumpet is available here.

Rapture, by Roisin Kelly, the first pamphlet in Southword’s New Irish Voices series, is as concerned with the transcendent pleasure of love as the pamphlet’s title would lead you to believe. Unafraid of sentiment, these twenty poems meditate on lost love, longing, and the tendency of intimacy to arrive as an utter surprise, and dissolve just as swiftly.

In ‘A Massage Room in West Cork’, Kelly draws her reader into an expertly rendered scene, as surprising as it is beautiful:

and all night we keep on the orange
crystal lamp to soften four panes
of glass-hard darkness at the window.

Kelly is a master of endings, saving the ‘poetic crossing’ until the last possible moment. The closing of ‘Leave’ opens unpredictably into a wider, more mysterious world through the soft, hushed music of Kelly’s lines:

For now, the runway stretches into darkness.
In the cellars, barrelled apples sleep
and dream their short lives in reverse.

 

‘Aroi’ Appears in The London Magazine

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I’ve been in Portugal for the last two weeks, helping with the olive harvest on the banks of the Mondego River, so it was a lovely surprise to come home and find my contributor’s copy of The London Magazine waiting for me.

My poem ‘Aroi’ appears in its pages, and won second place in The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2017.

The December/January 2018 issue is available to purchase here.