Aoife Lyall Events

Aoife Lyall Events


‘Her theme is ‘heaven in the ordinary’ – moments of illumination in everyday life. Written during the pandemic (chillingly evoked in the poem ‘Moss’), these moments become necessary for survival. There’s an imagist precision here, with real emotional power.’ – Graeme Richardson, The Sunday Times, on The Day Before


Inverness-based Irish poet Aoife Lyall's second collection, The Day Before, was published by Bloodaxe in February 2024. The collection captures the ordinary moments in life that crystallise in the face of crisis and threat. Focusing on the earliest weeks and months of the pandemic, these intimate and meticulous poems mark the lived experience of someone who must navigate a world she no longer understands, exploring first steps and last breaths, milestones, millstones, emigration, and the entire world to be found in the space behind the front door.

The Day Before follows Aoife Lyall's widely praised debut, Mother, Nature, which was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book Award in Scotland's National Book Awards in 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.


Aoife Lyall’s poem ‘Moss’ from her forthcoming collection The Day Before was featured as Poem of the Week in the Review supplement of The Daily Telegraph on 27 January.  It was featured in the Telegraph Culture e-newsletter of 1 February. The poem was chosen and introduced by Tristram Fane Saunders.

‘'Moss’ … doesn’t read like a belated Covid news dispatch, but instead uses the heightened emotion of that time as a springboard for imaginative, transformative writing, turning a shared experience into something fresh and strange.’ – Tristram Fane Saunders (Poem of the Week), The Daily Telegraph



Monday 19 August, 6:30 PM US Eastern Time / 11:30 PM Irish Standard Time & British Summer Time 

Online Poetry Book Group on The Day Before (via Zoom)


Solas Nua's monthly online poetry book group will be discussing The Day Before at their August meeting.

More information and Zoom links here. Session open to all: no registration required.




Online launch reading by Fleur Adcock, Kerry Hardie and Aoife Lyall, 20 February 2024

Fleur Adcock, Kerry Hardie and Aoife Lyall celebrated the publication of their new books with an online launch reading on our YouTube channel. All three poets read live and discussed their work with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley. This free Bloodaxe launch event is now available to watch on this YouTube page:




Aoife Lyall: Torch: a film poem

Torch: a film poem was written and read by Aoife Lyall, directed by Luke Morgan with music by Jake Morgan, produced with funding from The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. The poem is included in The Day Before.




Thursday 29 April 2021, 7:00 pm, West Cork Literary Festival

Unlaunched: Martina Evans, Victoria Kennefick and Aoife Lyall

A special event with Martina Evans, Victoria Kennefick and Aoife Lyall in conversation with Séan Hewitt and John McAuliffe from the Unlaunched Books podcast to mark Poetry Day Ireland.

Aoife Lyall read poems from her debut poetry collection Mother, Nature and joined the discussion afterwards. It was especially interesting to hear her speak to John McAuliffe about the joys and benefits to be gained from reviewing other poets' work, given that all five poets taking part in the event are reviewers - John, Martina and Séan with The Irish Times, and Victoria with the Unlaunched Books podcast.

'These are really moving, lyric poems. They explore pregnancy, loss, motherhood and the disorientating world of hospitals.  In the tradition of Rebecca Goss and Leanne O'Sullivan, Aoife's poems are built word by word, carefully, until we reach a volta, or a turn, and the speaker gestures downwards, and we can see that there's a chasm beneath these poems.  There's also light and tenderness, and this is the scaffolding which Aoife builds across that chasm to help us understand things as big and as mind-boggling as love, grief and loss.  They're incredibly intimate poems, and they're intricately formed.' - Séan Hewitt, introducing Mother, Nature

Séan Hewitt introduced Aoife at 18:58, and the discussion part of the event began at 41:22.


Saturday 1st May 2021, 2pm, The Stay-at-Home! Literary Festival

Home in Our Bodies: Reading & Workshop

Aoife Lyall (Bloodaxe) and Victoria Kennefick (Carcanet) gave readings from their body-focused debut collections, followed by a generative workshop.  The event was streamed live on 1 May 2021, and is now on YouTube. 

Aoife began by reading some poems from Mother, Nature, then Victoria read from her debut Eat or We Both Starve. This was followed by a short generative workshop.

'Was an incredible powerful event, a reading and a workshop activity. It was joy to discover the brave, honest voice of Aoife Lyall and the equal depth of Victoria Kennefick’s poetry.' - Nina Lewis, AWritersFountain.  Read her blog on the Stay at Home! Literary Festival here.



Aoife Lyall reads her poem 'Silt' from Mother, Nature in a film she made especially for Books Ireland.  Read the poem on their 'poetry happening' feature 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.

[26 February 2024]

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