Literary Programme 2018

Martina Evans and Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Martina Evans and Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Martina Evans
Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Maritime Hotel

Wed 18 July 2018



Martina Evans’ new collection Now We Can Talk Openly About Men will be published by Carcanet in June. This is a poetry collection in two parts, dramatic monologues touching on the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War from a woman’s perspective. There are two voices: a dressmaker on laudanum and a stenographer in love with a young revolutionary. The women relect with humour on how actions taken in their youth lead to betrayal. 

‘Martina Evans [is] brazenly humorous […] with her dizzyingly wacky free-verse tale-telling.’ The Tablet

‘A subtle, challenging writer with a wonderfully destructive approach to the pieties she describes.’ John McAuliffe, Irish Times

Martina Evans grew up in County Cork and trained in Dublin as a radiographer before moving to London in 1988. She is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose. She has won several awards including the Premio Ciampi International Prize for Poetry in 2011 and the Betty Trask Award. Burnfort, Las Vegas (Anvil Press 2014) was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2015. Mountainy Men, a new narrative poem, was the recipient of a Grants for the Arts Award in 2015. She is a Royal Literary Fund Advisory Fellow and her New and Selected Poems was published by Carcanet Press in 2016. Her latest book of poems Now We Can Talk Openly About Men is published by Carcanet in May 2018. A regular contributor to The Irish Times, she is a Royal Literary Fund Advisory Fellow and lives in London with her daughter.

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh’s poems in Irish have been lavished with plaudits and prizes. They blend dreams and dread visions. Collapsing ages and traditions, banshees and pookas infiltrate a modern, urban sensibility. Loss and longing co-exist in sensual images and expressions.

There I was and will be again,

making sense, or trying to,

of the heart in the mouth,

the tongue ablaze, all those promises…

Ailbhe’s latest collection The Coast Road, from named places – Galway and Harlem, Antarctica and Kilmalkedar – to imagined states, including ‘the madhouse behind the moon’, is a book of uncommon range and searing effect. Among its themes are language and languages, their failure and throes, and silence too. In its variety of responses the book may be read as a guide to the possibilities of translation itself. In it, some of Ireland’s finest poets gather to spread the word and introduce a vital voice to a wider audience. Ailbhe’s poems in Irish are translated in this collection by Michael Coady, Peter Fallon, Tom French, Alan Gillis, Vona Groarke, John McAuliffe, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon, Michelle O’Sullivan, Justin Quinn, Billy Ramsell, Peter Sirr and David Wheatley.

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh was born in Kerry. She has read at festivals in New York, Paris, Montréal, Berlin and Ballyferriter. ‘Filleadh ar an gCathair’ was chosen as Ireland’s EU Presidency poem in 2013 and was shortlisted for RTÉ’s ‘A Poem for Ireland’ in 2015. Coiscéim published Péacadh (2008) and Tost agus Allagar (2016). A bilingual collection, The Coast Road, published by Gallery Press in late 2016, includes English translations by thirteen poets.

Ciarraíoch í Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh. Tá a cuid filíochta léite aici i bPáras, i Nua Eabhrac, i Montréal agus ar an mBuailtín. Roghnaíodh ‘Filleadh ar an gCathair’ mar Dhán Uachtarántacht an Aontais Eorpaigh in 2013. Bhain an dán céanna áit amach ar ghearrliosta RTÉ, ‘A Poem for Ireland’. D’fhoilsigh Coiscéim na cnuasaigh Péacadh (2008) agus Tost agus Allagar (2016). The Coast Road an teideal atá ar chnuasach dátheangach a d’fhoilsigh an Gallery Press mar a bhfuil aistriúcháin le filí aitheanta an Bhéarla.

This event is supported by Poetry Ireland.

Martina’s photo is by Joanne O’Brien and Ailbhe’s photo is by Máire Uí Mhaicín