Category Archives: Poetry

Le Ortique – launches podcasts with my translation of Notturno n.4 by Livia De Stefani

Livia De Stefani (1913 – 1991)

In this recording, Nandi Jola reads my translation of Notturno n. 4 for the Le Ortique project, a group of women authors committed to discovering forgotten women artists.

For more of De Stefani’s poems, see:

da Poesie in diesis di Livia De Stefani (ita/eng)

 An online event on 7th July 6.30 – 8.30pm invites contributions of work by female artists whose work deserves greater recognition Le Ortique Open Mic

I am very much enjoying my encounter with the work of this passionate, uncompromising poet, Livia De Stefani.

Notturno n. 4

Non morirò. Vivo ancora. Ancora di te
del tuo profondo sonno fra le braccia dell’altra.
Ti odio. Nell’odio io incendio foreste
più fonde di quelle d’amore.
Al lume di fiamme vermiglie m’inoltro
nel fuoco vestita dei miei capelli.
Voluttà rinnovate, interminabili saziano
le affamate notti, alzano maree
fra le sponde dei giorni.
Non muoio. T’inseguo ti trovo ti schiaccio
e mi succhio il tuo sangue e lo sputo.
È amaro il tuo sangue, dà sete, dà sete.

******

Die – I will not. I live on still. Still on you
On your deep sleep in the arms of that other woman.
I loathe you. In loathing I set ablaze forests
deeper than those of love.
By the gleam of vermilion flames I give myself
to the fire wearing only my hair.
Endless voluptuous pleasures, tasted again, again, sate
the famished nights, flood tides
between the shores of the days.
Dying – I am not. You – I follow you find you crush you
Suck up your blood – spit it out.
Bitter, your blood – makes me thirst, thirst.

translated by © Angela Graham 

podcast version by © Nandi Jola (South African born poet and writer based in Ireland) .

For a discussion of Livia De Stefani’s poetry:

Livia De Stefani: poesia per ritornare (alla poesia) / Livia De Stefani: poetry to come back (to poetry)

 

2 poems in ‘North Star’ an anthology of writing by Northern Irish women

I’m delighted to have 2 poems in the new anthology: ‘North Star: short stories and poetry by female Northern Irish writers’ released on 4th June 2020.

With 45 contributors, the book’s six sections reflect the counties of Northern Ireland. It is currently number 1 in new and hot releases coming soon on Amazon within anthologies and number 5 in Women’s short stories out of 1,000 titles listed in that genre.

In the Tyrone section is my poem ‘Ballycastle Granny: her husband, Thomas Graham of Gortin’. This  won Joint 3rd Prize in the Almost Dancing Poetry Competition and Heather Newcombe Award 2019 organised by Ballycastle Writers’ Group.

My grandfather lived in Gortin where he worked with his brother, John Graham in their saddlery business. John’s his wife, Letitia ran the Post Office.

My poem in the Antrim section is ‘The Scottish Referendum: A View from Carraig Uisneach’. This is set on Ballycastle Beach. It’s about the relationship between this north-eastern area of Ireland with Scotland.

This anthology is unique among collections by Northern Irish women in its dynamically wide embrace of writing talent.

Conceived and produced during lockdown, the North Star anthology comes from women’s writing collective, Women Aloud NI.

Chairwoman, Angeline King Kelly, whose idea it was, says: “The submission process for North Star was open to WANI’s 165 members, without selection. Every woman has a story to tell. Many of the most fascinating stories from Northern Ireland are locked within the minds of people who do not perceive themselves as storytellers or writers. I believe we have opened a door to those people, in addition to nurturing the talent of some of the most respected writers in the country.”

‘North Star’ is available to buy in hardback, paperback, and kindle edition on Amazon. The Collection is also available to buy in local bookshops such as No Alibis and The Secret Bookshelf.

Gorse, Whin, Furze – a shared love in Irish, Ulster Scots, Scots & English

Recently I had a poem about gorse on the Pendemic.ie site which describes itself as, ‘Not a literary magazine for ordinary times, but journaling the extraordinary.’ in these COVID-19 times. My poem describes the gorse that flowers copiously in Ireland in Spring.

I had many  responses on Twitter, sharing a love of gorse and of poetry inspired by it, old and new.  I’d like to bring some of them together here to share that pleasure further, as a simple record. This is a mere fraction of the gorse-related poetry one might find. Continue reading Gorse, Whin, Furze – a shared love in Irish, Ulster Scots, Scots & English

Poem for Nedim Türfent – PEN International on Poetry Day

Nedim Türfent, Kurdish-Turkish, journalist

Nedim Türfent is serving an eight-year-and-nine- month prison sentence on trumped-up terrorism charges following an unfair trial, during which scores of witnesses said they had been tortured into testifying against him. He spent almost two years in solitary confinement in harrowing detention conditions. Determined to keep writing, he started composing poetry while detained. (PEN International) Continue reading Poem for Nedim Türfent – PEN International on Poetry Day

Poem in PENDEMIC – A Gardener Imagines Death…

A GARDENER IMAGINES DEATH DURING THE PANDEMIC, 2020

Is this what I will see:

against a haze of blue a yellow iris

− spear among green blades −

calling me upwards from my final stumble;

no time to name them, each one

and everything I’ve loved, but a yellow

that is all that yellow is

assuming me? Or

eyes behind a visor, summoning me

towards all that human is?

http://pendemic.ie/a-gardener-imagine-death-during-the-pandemic-2020-a-poem-by-angela-graham/

Pendemic.ie is a great platform for sharing work during the pandemic.

Online Festival promos NORTH STAR by N. Irish Women Writers

Once again the dynamic group of women writers, Women Aloud Northern Ireland have demonstrated their vitality and commitment by using the global lockdown to fuel a powerhouse of literary creativity.

The writers of WANI are publishing North Star – an Anthology of Literature by Northern Irish Women.

I’m delighted to have 2 poems in the book.

Not content with merely print, they are also staging an online literary festival, bringing their sparkling storytelling to audiences they would usually be entertaining through workshops, readings and other events, were it not for the worldwide restrictions on their movements.

The Facebook Live Weekend Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26th, using the social media platform’s live facility to bring a diverse programme of fiction, prose and poetry to audiences in their homes with members reading live at 11am, 3pm and 8.30pm on both days. Continue reading Online Festival promos NORTH STAR by N. Irish Women Writers

Poem in Shamrocks and Shells

As my friend, Stephen McCormick was about to set off to walk the Camino to Santiago de Compostela a send-off  was arranged. I couldn’t get to it so I wrote a poem to wish him well. I’m so pleased that he has included it in his

Reflections on the Camino del Norte

‘Compostela’ means ‘field of stars’ and it made me think of a photograph that I looked at often during a period where I was feeling low. The camera’s eye was deep under the surface of a pond, looking up along the slender column of a water plant’s stalk, to the underside of the flower;  up through the water to a new and intriguing  sky. Continue reading Poem in Shamrocks and Shells