Aoife Lyall Readings

Aoife Lyall Readings

'There are poems in this collection that knocked me clean to the ground, as others offered me a warm hand up and others still, which stroked my backbone as I sobbed. The subject is crucial, but it's the beauty of the poems which hold it all together.  “By law she carries you” [from 'Acrania'] is a line that I will never get out of my skin.' – Hollie McNish


Inverness-based Irish poet Aoife Lyall's debut collection was publisehd by Bloodaxe on 25 February 2021.  The poems of Mother, Nature follow the poet’s own experience of motherhood, from the trauma of pregnancy loss, to the overwhelming joy of a healthy birth. Her courageous, searing but tender poems of loss are deeply affecting – all the more so because of her understated language and formal control. 

As well as being shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards in 2018 and 2016, Aoife Lyall was awarded an Emerging Scottish Writer residency by Cove Park in 2020.

An interview with Aoife Lyall features on Smogasbord 2020 here.

Bookanista featured two of the poems from Mother, Nature ahead of the launch reading on 23 February 2021.  Read the poems here.  A video of the launch event is below.
'Hollie McNish’s jacket description of Aoife Lyall’s collection Mother, Nature is so accurate. The poems of this collection knocked me to the ground, only to have me scrambling back up so I could keep reading. The poems, two of which were shortlisted for the Hennessey New Irish Writing Awards, centre around Ireland-born Lyall’s own experiences of maternity, loss, and early motherhood. True, many writers have waded through such subjects, so what makes Lyall’s title special? There is her ability to bring such a dazzling array of raw emotion to the page without a hint of over-sentimentality. But there is also her profound ear for lyric and language.' - Nicole Gemine, DURA (Dundee University Review of the Arts)
Read the full review here.


Thursday 25 March 2021, St Mungo's Mirrorball, Glasgow, 7pm

Aoife Lyall will be giving a launch reading from her debut collection Mother, Nature at St Mungo's Mirrorball in Glasgow.  Fellow Bloodaxe poet Heidi Williamson will be reading from her third collection Return by Minor Road.

Online event by Zoom. Currently only members can attend, please email Jim Carruth (Mirrorball chair) or Vicki Husband (membership secretary) for details on how to join.

Full details of participants will be posted in due course here.


Sunday 12th September 2021, Nairn Book & Arts Festival, Nairn

Aoife Lyall will be reading from her debut collection Mother, Nature at Nairn Book & Arts Festival.

Full details will be posted in due course here.


Tuesday 23 February 2021, joint launch event with Fleur Adcock, Tiffany Atkinson and Susan Wicks

Livestreamed event launching four new collections by Bloodaxe poets, all of whom were publishing new collections in February 2021. Aoife Lyall read third in each set (she is introduced by Editor Neil Astley at 19:40). The readings were followed by a very engaging discussion and Q&A with the online audience.


‘The Wanderers’: a film poem by Ted Fisher after a poem by Aoife Lyall

The cover picture of Mother, Nature is a still from The Wanderers (2018), a film poem directed and produced by Ted Fisher in collaboration with Magma and the University of Edinburgh.

Aoife Lyall writes: ‘The most significant thing I learned was that the poem isn’t so much about welcoming my daughter into my life, as allowing myself to finally call Inverness home. I lived here for almost six years before she was born, and spent much of that comparing my life here to the life I had in Dublin. Walking the poem with Ted I came to realise it encapsulated what I had been missing – the accumulation of memories, moments, and experiences that layer themselves into the familiar.'  'The Wanderers' is included in Mother, Nature.


Aoife Lyall's poems ‘Acrania’ and ‘Hermit Crab’ were shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards in 2018 - both are now included in her debut collection. A recording of Aoife reading ‘Hermit Crab’ is on the title page for Mother, Nature (click on ‘related audio’); the poems were featured in The Irish Times of 28 January 2017 - read them here.

[04 February 2021]

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