Jessica Traynor Readings

Jessica Traynor Readings


‘The eponymous Pit Lullabies – there are 10 in total – form a wild, exhilarating backbone to this collection where bone is a key word.  A book about motherhood and birth trauma… its roots are firmly entrenched in the natural world… Traynor’s poems, like those of Walter de la Mare, are most deadly when they are pared back, almost child-like.’ – Martina Evans, The Irish Times


Jessica Traynor's third collection Pit Lullabies was published by Bloodaxe on 24 March 2022 and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Spring 2022.

These intimate, visceral and often wickedly funny poems journey through the darker days of new parenthood, teasing out the anxieties which plague us when night falls. Violence against women, the destruction of our environment, the poisons and pitfalls of 21st-century living are explored here in poems by turns lyrical and earthy, yearning and angry.

Pit Lullabies is Jessica Traynor’s third collection, following Liffey Swim (2014) and The Quick (2019) from Ireland’s Dedalus Press.

Reviews, interviews and poem features for Pit Lullabies are on our news page here:




Saturday 12 November, 2pm

Seamus Heaney HomePlace, 45 Main Street, Bellaghy, BT45 8HT

Jessica will be reading alongside Maureen Boyle and Victoria Kennefick at this event, titled 'In Bursting Air'.

Tickets: £12. More information and ticket booking here.


Sunday 4 December, 1pm

13th Annual PoetryFest

Irish Arts Center, 726 11th Avenue, Hell's Kitchen, NYC

Jessica will be reading alongside Ilya Kaminsky at the 13th Annual PoetryFest in New York, curated by Nick Laird.

Free event. More information and ticket booking here.


Wednesday 7 December

Solas Nua, Washington DC

Jessica will be reading at Solas Nua, the centre for New Irish Arts, in Washington DC. More details to follow soon.




Thursday 24th March 2022, 7pm GMT

Launch reading by Moniza Alvi, Amali Gunasekera and Jessica Traynor

Live-streamed launch event by Moniza Alvi, Amali Gunasekera and Jessica Traynor celebrating the publication of their new poetry collections.

The readings were followed by a discussion with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley. Now available on YouTube - see video below.  Jessica reads last in each set.


Poetry Book Society Instagram Live event - Wednesday 26 January 2022

Jessica Traynor read from her forthcoming third collection Pit Lullabies for PBS Instagram Live. She appeared alongside Emily Berry, and was in conversation with Anthony Anaxagorou. Pit Lullabies is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Spring 2022.

The event is available to watch on the PBS Instagram.



Jessica Traynor’s poem ‘Holidaying with Dad During the Divorce’ from Pit Lullabies is featured in the Winter/Spring 2022 issue of the American journal TriQuarterly.  The poem was featured online on 15 January 2022, along with audio of Jessica reading it, which can be found here.

Jessica Traynor appeared on the Words Lightly Spoken podcast in 2019, reading the poem 'If you can tame a wildcat you can raise a baby', which is now published in Pit Lullabies. The recording can be found here.

[24 March 2022]

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