Category Archives: Poetry

Time To Write Around The Coast of Ireland

Maria Isakova Bennett celebrates Poetry Day Ireland 2020 by the creation of a collaborative poem made up of lines she has selected from poems specially written on that day with the sea as a theme. I chose to write about Broughanlea Townland where I live near Ballycastle.

Her beautiful stitching work enhances the presentation of the lines as they create, together, a harmony of sea sounds.

Collaborative Litany – Time To Write Around The Coast of Ireland 2020

The opening section

My poem, FULL CIRCLE, BROUGHANLEA TOWNLAND, COUNTY ANTRIM is part of the work I am doing on Place and Displacement for which I recieved a SIAP Award from the arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2019.

Maria hopes to arrange a reading involving all 34 contributing poets around the coast of Ireland when circumstances allow.

This lovely project brings together poetry and embroidery, two things I’m very keen on. I have plans for a stitched seascape!

Silver Branch Poet for January 2021

I’m delighted to have some of my work featured as Black Bough Poetry’s Poet of the Month in the Silver Branch Series.

The series is curated by Matthew M.C. Smith, poet, and editor of Black Bough Poetry, a project which promotes imagist micro-poetry.

Silver Branch showcases the work of a poet whose poems have appeared in a Black Bough Poetry publication. In my case:

Moon, Landing – Black Bough – Issue 2 (Apollo 11 edition)

Thaw & Quite All Right, Thank YouDeep Time (volume2)

Freedom  in the imminent Freedom / Rapture issue

Alongside these are 5 other poems. Plus a pair of poems – Triptych and Three Stones – inspired by images: respectively, a painting by Matthias Grünewald and three photographs by the writer and photographer, Phil Cope.

The photograph that heads this post is Winter Branch © Phil Cope. The magical Silver Branch of Celtic story ensures entry to the Otherworld. It’s something both natural and wrought, like a poem.


2 Poems in Deep Time Volume 2

Matthew M.C. Smith is an adventurous, and apparently indefatigable, poet and poetry impresario. It may be his gift for collaboration which enables him to be so productive.

It’s so lovely to see my poem ‘Thaw’ here:  Deep Time Volume 2

This beautiful-to-handle, easy-on-the-eye, large-format book from Black Bough Poetry has been produced by a team and assembling a coherent team is a skill in itself. The members are:

” Welsh writer, Laura Wainwright, Louisiana’s former Laureate, Jack Bedell, and Aotearoa’s, Ankh Spice. The amazing illustrations are by Rebecca Wainwright, a Newport-born artist from Newport in Wales, now living in London. Music for this project is composed and curated by Brisbane-based Stuart Rawlinson.”

Artwork by Rebecca Wainwright

Deep Time volume 2, is Black Bough poetry’s second print anthology. It is dedicated to the writer Robert Macfarlane, who wrote award-winning non-fiction work, Underland (2019).

Continue reading 2 Poems in Deep Time Volume 2

Poem published: THERE AND HERE


in a dream, the mirror of the Trinity


Our mirror holds your image in its square

and we have made the frame, a hand-breadth wide.

From the mid-point of the base springs a pair

of vibrant, scrolling fronds, one either side;

carved in relief, acanthus-leafed, baroque,

flexing like seaweed in a rising tide

they cross the top as though to interlock

but stop just short – potential growth implied.

The wood is light, clean-edged, northern and spare,

fit for an airy room with snow outside;

a place for thinking clearly in; somewhere

to find a balance, ponder, or decide.


Look. See your true self here, the self we share;

your I, You, Us.  Be its reflection there.


New City magazine, November 2020


SIAP Award from Arts Council N Ireland 2020/21

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has given me a Support for the Individual Artist Award towards the drafting of a collection of poetry on the theme of SANCTUARY.

I am honoured to receive this funding and greatly appreciate the encouragement.

A Garw Valley cairn by Phil Cope

This collection  will not be written by me alone. The funding enables me both to involve four other poets who will each contribute a poem, written in collaboration with me, and also to benefit from mentoring by Glen Wilson, author of the poetry collection An Experience on the Tongue (Doire Press) and winner of the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2017.

Glen Wilson

Continue reading SIAP Award from Arts Council N Ireland 2020/21

My sonnet read on Poetry Pause

Poetry Pause is run by Emma Baines, Philippa Davies and Jean Riley near Narberth, west Wales. In Episode 7 the focus is on Carol Ann Duffy and has a powerful sonnet from Mab Jones and one from me.

Continue reading My sonnet read on Poetry Pause

Wales in Places of Poetry Anthology

Launching today.

Places of Poetry book launch

1. Jo Bell · Got
2. Alun Lewis · The Mountain over Aberdare (1942)
3. Philippa Davies · Aberfan: 9.10 a.m. 21/10/1966
4. Hilary Taylor · Coal Valley
5. Paul McGrane · Industrial Heritage
6. Maureen Fenton · Views from Newport Wetlands
7. Laura Wainwright · Is Coed
8. Peter Gaskell · Thoughts on a King’s Idyll in City of the Legion (Caerleon)
9. Jeremy Dixon · Gentlemen
10. Fawzia Muradali Kane · Ogmore
11. Jim Young · Worm’s Head (Pen Pyrod)
12. James Roberts · At Carreg Frân
13. Erika Guttmann-Bond · Brenin y Brenhinoedd
14. Henry Vaughan · The Water-fall (1655)
15. Kathy Miles · Lithic
16. Alwyn Marriage · Across the Mountain
17. Freddie Jones · Winter in Snowdonia
18. Gillian Clarke · Caernarfon
19. Ness Owen · Mamiaith (Mother Tongue)
20. Eabhan Ní Shuileabháin · Growing Up
21. Joanna Ingham · Choughs
22. Anne Phillips · Fog in Llanbadrig
23. Gerard Manley Hopkins · In the Valley of the Elwy (1874–77)
24. Steven Thomas-Spires · Border Language (Iaith Ffin)

4 Poems in The Blue Nib

I’m delighted to have 4 poems published in the Abhaile section – ‘poetry from the home place’ – of The Blue Nib.

Tracy Gaughan selects poetry from established and emerging writers from Ireland and the UK.

One of the poems is from the book I’m currently writing on Place and Displacement.

Tracy comments: ‘Angela Graham’s imaginative eloquence of language embodies an ‘at-homeness’ in both the universal and the particular’.

Abhaile is a great means of sampling work from a range of poets. I found among them Hugh McMillan and Caroline Johnson. I’ll give them a wave over there in Scotland. I’m looking forward to my time off next week when I can read everyone’s work.