Thursday, May 16th

No ticket needed for library events. All theatre tickets now sold by the Cork Arts Theatre.

Bookstall sales will be by card only (we cannot accept cash).

Trudie Gorman (Ireland) & Marie Iljašenko (Czech Republic)

2.30pm, Cork City Library | Free

Trudie GormanTrudie Gorman is a poet, essayist and activist based in Dublin. Her debut poetry collection Trust the Damage was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2023. In 2022 she was awarded a residency with Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris and in 2023 she was a Dublin Fringe Festival Artist in Residence. Trudie was selected for Poetry Ireland Versify Series in 2019 and was also shortlisted for the Creative Future Writing Award 2019. Her writing has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, Poetry NI, Two Metre Review, Unapologetic Magazine, and The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices.

Buy Trust the Damage from Dedalus Press.

“[An] uncompromising exploration of chronic illness, trauma, urbanity, class, and how these elements combine to profoundly impact the relationship with self.” — Victoria Kennefick

Marie IljašenkoMarie Iljašenko (1983) is a Czech poet, writer, and translator, laureate of the Tom Stoppard Prize (2023). She was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, into a family of Ukraine-Czech-Polish descent. Her collection of poems Osip míří na jih (Osip Heads South) was published in Czech in 2015 and won critical acclaim. The collection was most recently published in Poland (2022), where it was similarly well received. It was nominated for the Magnesia Litera Prize for Discovery of the Year. She has also been nominated for the Dresdener Literature Prize (2015) and the Václav Burian Prize (2016). Her second book of poetry, Sv. Outdoor (St. Outdoor), was published in 2019.

Buy Sv. Outdoor from Host and find translations of her work at Versopolis.

“Her poems, underpinned by a strong narrative line, bring to Czech poetry a breath of fresh air in which mythological images, old Jewish and Eastern European stories, fragments of ancient cultures, the human everyday and tragedy shiver in apparent timelessness.” — Magnesia Litera

(Moderator) James O’Leary’s first poetry chapbook, There Are Monsters in This House (Southword Editions, 2018) lives in the grey area between addiction and recovery, co-dependence and love. This was followed by Sacrament of the Sick (Well Review Editions, 2023), about illness and mysticism.

Triin Paja (Estonia) & Breda Spaight (Ireland)

4.00pm, Cork City Library | Free

Triin PajaTriin Paja lives in a small village in rural Estonia. She is the author of three collections of poetry in Estonian and a recipient of the Värske Rõhk Poetry Award, the Betti Alver Literary Award, and the Juhan Liiv Prize for Poetry. Her English poetry has received two Pushcart Prizes and her chapbook, Sleeping in a Field (forthcoming in 2024), won the Wolfson Poetry Chapbook Prize. She is a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union.

“These are gorgeous lyrics … The poems are richly imagistic, contain stunning metaphors, and the poet writes with an assured voice.” — Nancy Botkin

Visit the poet's website.

Breda SpaightBreda Spaight is from Co Limerick. Her debut chapbook, The Untimely Death of My Mother’s Hens, is published by Southword Editions in the New Irish Voices series. Her debut poetry collection, Watching for the Hawk, is published by Arlen House. In 2023, she was a Forward Prize finalist for Best Single Poem Written. She holds an M.Phil. in creative writing from Trinity College and has participated in the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. Her work has appeared in Southword, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, Cyphers, Banshee, and Ambit.

Buy Watching for the Hawk from Chapters Bookstore.

Watching for the Hawk is an unflinching and intensely moving evocation of a childhood in rural Ireland … a world of parental conflict, poverty, illness and loss. It is also a world of beauty, love and courage.” — Jane Clarke

(Moderator) Róisín Legget Bohan is a writer from Cork. In 2023 she was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Her work appears in Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, Aesthetica, Magma, New Irish Writing, The Guthrie Gazette, Southword and elsewhere. Róisín is the grateful recipient of Arts Council funding, Cork City Arts funding, and a Munster Literature Centre Mentorship. She is a Poetry Ireland Introductions poet and co-founder and editor of HOWL New Irish Writing.

Jenny Mitchell (UK) & Gustav Parker Hibbett (USA / Ireland)

7.00pm, Cork Arts Theatre | Ticket Link

Jenny MitchellJenny Mitchell has three poetry collections, Her Lost Language, Map of a Plantation, which is on the syllabus at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Resurrection of a Black Man, which contains three prize-winning poems and was featured on the US podcast Poetry Unbound. She’s won numerous awards, including the Gregory O’Donohue Prize 2022, and has performed at the Houses of Parliament. She’s currently Poet-in-Residence at Sussex University.

Buy Resurrection of a Black Man from Indego Dreams Publishing and find her on Twitter.

“Jenny Mitchell’s powerful and evocative poems are a bridge of empathy and solidarity. She conveys the personal impacts of political decisions and policies with a clarity and precision which is both shocking and deeply moving. Everyone should read this work.” — Helen Hayes MP

Gustav Parker HibbettGustav Parker Hibbett is a Black poet, essayist, and MFA dropout. Originally from New Mexico, they are currently pursuing a PhD at Trinity College Dublin. They are a 2023 Obsidian Foundation Fellow, a 2022 Djanikian Scholars Semifinalist, and a 32 Poems Featured Emerging Poet. Recently, they were selected as a runner-up for The Missouri Review’s 2022 Poem of the Year award. Their work appears or is forthcoming in Guernica, fourteen poems, The Stinging Fly, London Magazine, Adroit, and elsewhere. Their debut collection, High Jump as Icarus Story, is published this summer by Banshee Press.

“I love Hibbett’s poems for their attention to the body, their corporeal sensitivity that sometimes allows his poems to cross over into territory I experience as spiritual or sublime.” — Sarah Rose Nordgren

(Moderator) Kimberly Reyes is the author of the poetry collections vanishing point. and Running to Stand Still. Her work is featured in various outlets including The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Associated Press, Entertainment Weekly,, The New York Post, The Village Voice, The Irish Examiner, Poetry London, Poetry Ireland, RTÉ Radio, NY1 News, The Best American Poetry blog,, American Poets Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Southword, and The Stinging Fly.

John F. Deane (Ireland) & Aidan Mathews (Ireland)

8.30pm, Cork Arts Theatre | Ticket Link

John F. DeaneJohn F. Deane was born on Achill Island, Mayo; he is founder of Poetry Ireland, Ireland’s national poetry society, and its journal Poetry Ireland Review. He has been Visiting Scholar in Boston College, in Loyola University Chicago and Notre Dame Indiana. Irish Pages Press published a collaborative book of poems and dialogue with the poet James Harpur, called Darkness Between Stars in October, 2022. In May of 2023, Veritas Dublin published his poetry and faith memoir, Song of the Goldfinch. In October of 2023, Carcanet published Selected and New Poems, a generous choice of poems from earlier years, together with a substantial sequence of new work.

Buy Selected and New Poems from Carcanet.

“Deane finds the embedded music of particular moments – the inscape of them – and understands their cosmic vitality … [he] draws us into deeper listening and invites us into sacred, transcendent encounter.” — Michael P. Murphy

Aidan MathewsAidan Mathews was born in 1956 in Dublin, educated by Jesuits, and studied under the anthropologist & theologian René Girard at Stanford University. He served for forty years as a Drama and Religion producer in RTÉ, has published five books of poetry, three short fiction collections, a novel, half a dozen plays, and two volumes of broadcast talks on the faith and culture crisis in modern Ireland. His most recent work is Pure Filth from Lilliput Press.

Buy Pure Filth from Lilliput Press.

“Mathews does not have themes so much as obsessions. If his Catholic faith provides the ground base for all his work, sexuality, mental illness and the Holocaust recur in poem after poem, stitching together the quotidian and the extreme.” — David Wheatley

(Moderator) James Harpur has published eight books of poetry and has won many prizes and awards, including the Michael Hartnett Prize, the Vincent Buckley Prize and the UK National Poetry Competition. His The White Silhouette was an Irish Times Book of the Year, and his debut novel, The Pathless Country, won the JG Farrell Award and was shortlisted for the John McGahern Prize. He was the 2023 Oscar Wilde Writer Fellow at Trinity College Dublin.

Victoria Kennefick (Ireland) & Heather Treseler (USA)

10.00pm, Cork Arts Theatre | Ticket Link

Victoria KennefickVictoria Kennefick’s second collection Egg/Shell (Carcanet Press, 2024) is a Poetry Book Society Choice for Spring 2024. Her debut collection, Eat or We Both Starve (Carcanet Press, 2021), won the Seamus Heaney First Collection Poetry Prize and the Dalkey Book Festival Emerging Writer of the Year Award. It was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Costa Poetry Book Award, the Derek Walcott Poetry Prize and the Butler Literary Prize. She was UCD/Arts Council of Ireland Writer-in-Residence 2023 and Poet-in-Residence at Yeats Society Sligo 2022-23. She is currently Cork County Council Writer-in-Residence 2024.

Buy Egg/Shell from Carcanet and visit the poet's website.

“Daring, visceral and replete with unsettling images … few collections arrest a reader with such intensity from the opening poem, and even fewer manage to hold that thrill over the course of many poems, but Kennefick’s does.” — Seán Hewitt

Michelle O'SullivanHeather Treseler is the author of Auguries & Divinations (2024), which was selected for the May Sarton Prize, and Parturition (2020), which received the Munster Literature Centre’s Fool for Poetry Chapbook Prize and the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize from the New England Poetry Club. Her poems appear in Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, PN Review, Harvard Review, and The American Scholar, and have won the W. B. Yeats Prize, the Editors’ Prize from Missouri Review, and the 15th annual poetry prize from Narrative magazine. She is a resident scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center and professor of English at Worcester State University.

Buy Auguries & Divinations from Amazon and visit the poet's website.

“…running through all her lyricism is a staring, unblinking intelligence that informs us about what she sees. Her vision is inclusive, generous, wide-ranging, and enthralling.” — Brad Crenshaw

(Moderator) Molly Twomey grew up in Lismore, County Waterford, and graduated in 2019 with an MA in Creative Writing from University College Cork. Her first collection, Raised Among Vultures, was published in 2022 by The Gallery Press. It won the Southword Debut Collection Poetry Award, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Poetry Prize for Best First Collection, and the Farmgate National Poetry Award. It was a book of the year in The Irish Times.