Judy O’Kane, two poems.

Gavin Clarke COVID-19, Poetry

My work, both prose and poetry, is interested in how we occupy space. This poem looks back to the early days of the pandemic in the run up to Easter. I was fascinated by how we delineated space. The simple act of walking seemed to become formalised, even performative as we traversed the park, giving way to each other. The …

Writing Today in Ulster Scots

Gavin Clarke history, language, Poetry, translation, Ulster Scots

By ANGELA GRAHAM Why is it so hard to find writing in Ulster Scots among contemporary publications? Has it gone for good or is it poised to make a come-back? Up to the mid-twentieth century it was commonplace to find Ulster Scots poetry and prose in literary magazines or in newspapers but now it is exceptional. Although there is a …

Sybil Connolly’s In an Irish House.

Gavin Clarke Architecture, design, history

By PATRICIA JENKINS Sybil Connolly was a world-renowned Irish fashion designer – the first to achieve international recognition for her couture collections. She took her inspiration from the traditional costume of Irish peasant women in fashioning a classically simple ensemble made up of a full circular skirt worn with a light-coloured frilly blouse and teamed with a woollen shawl, all …

Ó Rathaille, a new translation.

Gavin Clarke history, Poetry, translation

A new translation is presented here of Ar Choileach do Goideadh Ó Shagart Mhaith by the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century whose acerbic verse often bears witness to the closing down of the civilisation that nurtured him. By BRIAN O’CONNOR Rage and loss are more typical subjects of Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c. 1670-1726) than …

MacSwiney Centenary and The Woven Dream

Gavin Clarke history, Reflection, Theatre

On 12 August 1920, hard upon assuming his duties as Lord Mayor of Cork and Commandant of the First Cork Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, Terence MacSwiney was arrested in Cork City Hall and summarily sentenced by a military court to two years in Brixton Prison for crimes including his possession of ‘seditious articles and documents’ and of a cypher …

Case Notes – notes on a father.

Gavin Clarke Family, Medical, Poetry

By BARBARA O’DONNELL In July 2016, getting off the plane in Cork, the mobile rang with the news that a doctor had been called out to my father in his nursing home. A few days later, I swapped my London hospital for my childhood hospital and the professional became personal. As both a writer and a healthcare professional, I make …

Permit all the colours. Remembering Lyra McKee.

Gavin Clarke LGBT+, Reading, Reflection, Troubles

By ANTON THOMPSON-MCCORMICK There was no point trying to be calm the night I first crossed paths with Lyra McKee. It was February 2019, and here we were in a former Pentecostal Church in central London to celebrate Anna Burns becoming Northern Ireland’s first winner of the Man Booker Prize, for Milkman. It was Burns’ first big post-Booker event and …

Reading Tatty in the time of Corona.

Gavin Clarke Reading, Reflection 1 Comment

By DOROTHY ALLEN The last time I was in isolation, I had the whooping cough. I must have been aged eight or nine, in Sister Consilio’s class and laid up for so long in April, May, June, I was worried I wouldn’t be “promoted” come July. The first weeks are a blur of coughing, whooping, tossing and turning in a …