Belfast Book Festival ’17 with Women Aloud NI


Over recent weeks, I have had the great fortune of discovering Women Aloud NI – a network founded by Jane Talbot, author of The Faerie Thorn, and dedicated to the celebration of women writers with ties to Northern Ireland. With the 7th annual Belfast Book Festival approaching, I’ve been excited to attend some great workshops, hear from some incredible talent and meet some faces from the Women Aloud NI group; what I wasn’t expecting was to end up with a slot to read some of my own poetry, but when Jane asked, I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity.

That said, I am a complete unknown on the NI writers’ scene. As yet, I remain unpublished, having only completed a series of 23 poems over the course of recent months which  – to say the least – are absolutely nothing like the poetry already featured here on my blog. I should admit that even during my younger years, I struggled to find my ‘voice’ as a writer, but I think I’ve finally discovered it. To have a chance to share that voice for a brief time in front of people who love poetry is quite the privilege.

I’ve decided to share one of my recently written poems to give a taste of my poetic style. This piece was inspired by reflections upon my return to writing and the decision to pursue it properly.

Nebulae & Salt

I couldn’t bear then

to try it on, this thing;

I knew and I know, I’d have lost myself,

swathed in metaphors I hadn’t yet tasted

because I was still

seasonless, waiting

for drunken dawns and sublime solecism

– the grit and the sting of honesty.

Spring came

with the dripping thaw of

unfolding I ams, and there

I was and wasn’t, all at once,

a wide eyed coma.

Then, I strangled summer;

squeezed its neck between pale knuckles, and the

bloodstains on my nails

were a simmering oil slick,

sunset red.

But here is the harvest;

autumn now, southward

of birthing days,

and there’s that thing again, begging me

to give it limbs, to slip it over my head and fill it up

like a throat full of song.

So I’ll fill it

with songs and dirges,

with nebulae and salt

I’ll let it hold hands with my shadows

and say the words I cannot.