Jane Clarke Readings

Jane Clarke Readings


'It is a really beautiful collection. I am moved to find all those flowers and birds so precisely placed, the farmstead nooks and crannies, the delicately nuanced explorations of big themes – the Great War, neighbourly gestures at a time of sectarian entanglement – generous pictures of [Jane Clarke's] soul-landscape, love poems. Collections of this quality are very rare.’ – Michael Longley, on A Change in the Air

 
 
Irish poet Jane Clarke's third full collection, A Change in the Air, was published by Bloodaxe in May 2023. It was longlisted for the 2023 Laurel Prize for nature writing and ecopoetry and shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the T S Eliot Prize 2023. Across six sequences these intimate poems of unembellished imagery accrue power and resonance in what is essentially a book of love poems to our beautiful, fragile world. 
 
Jane Clarke launched A Change in the Air with readings in Dublin, Wicklow and London. Scroll down to see a video of her joint live-streamed launch event of 23 May 2023. She gave a US tour in late September 2023. Her collection is distributed in the USA by Consortium Books.
 
‘… this is a very full collection. It has a very striking range and depth. It has the sense of worlds lived in, families, societies … poems about reality, about the world we live in and conveyed in … particularly polished language …’ - Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, introducing A Change in the Air at the book’s launch in Dublin on 25 May 2023.
 
A Change in the Air follows Jane Clarke's 2019 second collection When the Tree Falls, which was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize 2020, the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Farmgate Cafe National Poetry Award 2020, as well as being longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2020. Her debut collection The River (2015) was the first poetry book to be shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize in 2016. Jane Clarke grew up on a farm in Co. Roscommon, but now lives near Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow. 
 
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A brilliant in-depth review of Jane Clarke's ‘inimitable and beautiful new collection’ A Change in the Air ran online in the Yorkshire Times.  Read Steve Whitaker's review here.

A film of Jane Clarke reading her poem 'Dressing My Mother for Her Grandson's Wedding' from A Change in the Air was featured on the Books Ireland website here to mark publication The collection was later reviewed in depth by Eleanor Hooker here.
 
‘… outstanding lyrical poems of place and heart … Clarke’s poems are above all else accessible, and in being so, the poet honours her reader. She removes a language blind, bringing us to the beating heart of her work. A Change in the Air is a generous collection by a poet resolute but gentle in the matter of emotional truth.’ - Eleanor Hooker, Books Ireland

 

Jane Clarke took part in the T S Eliot Prize Readings at London's Southbank Centre on 14 January 2024.  Audio extracts were broadcast on BBC Radio 3's The Verb on Friday 19 January at 10pm, introduced by Ian McMillan, who also hosted the event at the Royal Festival Hall on 14 January.  Listen via BBC Sounds here.

 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

Friday 23 February, 11am

Reading for Limerick Literary Festival 2024

Dooradoyle Library, Crescent Shopping Centre, Dooradoyle Rd, Dooradoyle, Limerick, V94 AP03, Ireland

Jane Clarke will be reading from A Change in the Air at Dooradoyle Library at this event presented by Limerick Literary Festival.

Free Event. More details here.

 

T S ELIOT PRIZE VIDEOS

Jane Clarke reads 'Spalls' from A Change in the Air.

 

Jane talks about her work and her shortlisted collection A Change in the Air.

 

PAST EVENTS

 

US BOOK TOUR, 24-29 SEPTEMBER 2023

Jane Clarke was in Washington DC and Philadelphia in September 2023 to launch her new collection A Change in the Air. For several events, Jane appeared alongside fellow Irish poets Katie Dovovan and Catherine Phil MacCarthy. Katie Donovan's sixth book of poetry from Bloodaxe, May Swim, is forthcoming in May 2024. Jane's books are distributed in the USA via Consortium Book Sales.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

The Library of Congress, Washington DC: Grace Cavalieri interviewed Jane for her long-running radio series The Poet and The Poem. Jane read a number of poems from her new collection, and discussed them with Grace Cavalieri.

‘This is my favourite book of yours.  I think that this is just your crown jewel.  This book is absolutely your voice without effort – it’s pure silk.’ – Grace Cavalieri, speaking on The Poet and the Poem podcast, on A Change in the Air

https://www.gracecavalieri.com/poetLaureates/featuredpoet_janeclarke2023.html
 

Friday 29 September, 7.30pm ET

NYU campus, Washington DC, John Brademas Center

Abramson Family Auditorium, 1307 L Street, NW, Washington DC 20005 (In-Person Audience)

Ron Charles, book critic with The Washington Post, hosted a public interview with Jane Clarke about her new collection. This reading was recorded for distribution to NYU campuses in several countries. Jane read poems from A Change in the Air and discussed them with Ron (from 08:26).

Ron Charles also featured her poem ‘Shepherd’ from A Change in the Air in his Washington Post newsletter ahead of the reading. Read the poem and Ron Charles' full introduction via The Washington Post newsletter here.

‘Her verse attends so closely to the land and the people of her rural homeland that it makes us attend more closely to our own. This summer she published A Change in the Air, a collection that glides gently from caring for her mother to remembering the Troubles to moving into a new house in the countryside.’ – Ron Charles, The Washington Post Book Club

 
LIVESTREAMED INTERVIEW WITH RATTLE MAGAZINE USA, 21 AUGUST 2023
 
 
Ahead of her US tour in September 2023, Jane Clarke was interviewed at length by Timothy Green, editor of the US poetry magazine Rattle. Jane joined Tim from her home in Co Wicklow. Their conversation was livestreamed on 21 August 2023, and is now available on YouTube. Among many other things, they discussed her background in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and how that relates to her writing, the importance of finding music in language, and how commissions have led her poetry in many new and interesting directions. Jane read and introduced her poems 'After' (previously featured in Rattle's Irish issue in Spring 2023), 'All the horses she ever loved', 'Pit Ponies of Glendasan', 'Crossings', 'Lazy Beds', 'Recipe for a bog', 'Spalls' and 'Stepping in', all from her new collection A Change in the Air.
 
'Beautiful, lush language, really condensed - a trademark of your work - rural, pastoral themes which are beautiful. It's wonderful poetry to read. It twists and hits hard in a tight little space. I just loved it.' - Timothy Green, introducing Jane Clarke and her poetry
 
Jane features from 09:35.  Available as a separate chapter on the YouTube page.
 
The poem feature in the Spring 2023 edition of Rattle, along with audio of Jane reading 'After' from A Change in the Air, is on Rattle's website here.

 

LIVE-STREAMED BLOODAXE LAUNCH EVENT, 23 MAY 2023

Tuesday 23 May 2023, 7pm BST

This wonderful reading and discussion event was livestreamed on 23 May 2023 and is now available on YouTube. 

Jane Clarke, Kris Johnson and Yvonne Reddick joined live from Co Wicklow, North Shields and Manchester. They were reading from their new collections and discussing them with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley, and with each other.  Stunning readings and fascinating discussion of poetry, nature, home and memory.

Jane Clarke read first in each set.  This was the online launch for her third collection A Change in the Air.

 

INTERVIEW ON RTE RADIO 1's COUNTRYWIDE

Jane Clarke was interviewed on RTE Radio 1's CountryWide on Saturday 29 April 2023 as part of a special feature on the rivers of Co Wicklow, and read three poems from A Change in the Air.  Full details on our news page here.  Listen via the links below.

Jane spoke about the mining heritage of Co Wicklow and read her poem 'Christmas Morning'. Listen here (from 14:10). She was in conversation with Della Kilroy. Listen here (first item).

Watch a video of Jane Clarke reading her poem 'Stepping In' beside the river Avonmore - filmed by RTE Radio 1's CountryWide and shared on RTE Radio 1's Twitter page here.

 

DISCUSSION RECORDED AT DUBLIN BOOK FESTIVAL

Culture File Weekly, RTÉ Lyric FM, Saturday 3 December 2022, 6.30pm

Poet Jane Clarke joined photographer Tina Claffey, naturalist & writer Richard Nairn, and naturalist & writer Paddy Woodworth for a discussion about their favourite nature books as part of the Naturalist's Bookshelf series. Jane recommended Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain and Michael Longley’s new collection The Slain Birds. A photograph of a marsh marigold by Tina Claffey features on the front cover of Jane’s forthcoming third collection A Change in the Air.  This happy coincidence was mentioned by the host in his introduction.

This event was recorded live at the Dublin Book Festival in the National Botanic Gardens, and was broadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM on 3 December.  Listen here.
 
 
PAST READINGS

POETRY AND MUSIC FROM JANE CLARKE, CORMAC BREATNACH & AEMON SWEENEY

Jane Clarke, Cormac Breatnach, Eamon Sweeney presented by Alchemy Music, premiered 31 July 2021
 
 
An intimate short live set recorded in Ashford in Summer 2021 - a mixture of poetry and music. Jane Clarke read two new poems from her sequence about the mining heritage of Co Wicklow, and two new poems responding to the pandemic, 'First earlies' and 'Flowers from the hills'. She also read poems from her second collection When the Tree Falls and her debut
The River, and ended with 'When this is all over' from her illustrated booklet All the Way Home (Smith|Doorstop, 2019).

Poet – Jane Clarke
Cormac Breatnach (Susato Whistle)
Eamon Sweeney (Early & Classical Guitars)
 
 
 
FILM FEATURING JANE CLARKE

Dublin Book Festival, streamed on Tuesday 6 July 2021 
 
Departures Volume I: Co. Wicklow
 
Jane Clarke was filmed for the first of three films made for Dublin Book Festival. Jane was interviewed about Departures on RTE Radio 1's Arena on 29 June, and read her poem 'The Suck' from her debut collection The River.  Listen here (from 22:44).
 
Filmed in Brooklodge in the Wicklow Mountains, host Manchán Magan was joined by nature and travel writer Michael Fewer and poet Jane Clarke. Their conversation explored their connections with the landacape - in Jane's case that of Co Roscommon where she grew up, and Co Wicklow where she has lived for the past 25 years - and how they bring landscape and the natural world into their writing.  Jane began by saying that she thought that coming to live in the stunning landscape of Co Wicklow was part of the reason why she started to write poetry. Jane was filmed in the mountains reading her new poems 'Mullacor' and 'Christmas Morning' - two poems from her sequence inspired by the mining heritage of Wicklow. 
 
The conversation was interwoven with scenes of the Co Wicklow landscape, and with music from Anna Mieke, who gave a spellbinding performance of two songs from her debut album Idle Mind, inspired by her connection to her surroundings.
 
 

 

Jane Clarke also features in the Departures trailer:
 

 
PAST READINGS AND LATE LAUNCH EVENT WITH BLOODAXE BOOKS
 
Sunday 27 June 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM BST

Poesie: The Daily Poetry App presents a virtual discussion with Irish poet Jane Clarke

Jane Clarke was Poesie's guest poet on 27 June 2021. She read some of the poems that are featured on the Poesie app: 'Daily Bread', 'The Suck' and 'Dropping Slow' from her debut collection The River and 'Cypress' from When the Tree Falls . In the Q&A with Poesie host Benjamin Bregman, Jane spoke about how she came to start writing poetry in her forties, and about process, inspirations, music, and her values as a poet. She talked about how her tutor Gillian Clarke and the Bloodaxe anthology Staying Alive helped her along the way.  Several poems by Jane feature in the fourth anthology in Neil Astley's Staying Alive series, Staying Human (pictured below).
 
More poems from both of Jane Clarke's Bloodaxe collections are featured on the Poesie app.
 
 
 

Field Work Book Club, 6 May 2021, with guest Jane Clarke

Jane Clarke was the guest for the May edition of the Field Work Book Club on 6 May. She was the first poet to be invited to discuss her work at the bookclub. Jane was reading poems from her second collection When the Tree Falls and speaking about her upbringing on a farm in Co Roscommon. A very wide-ranging and thoughtful discusson with farmers from around the UK.

 

 

Friday 7 May 2021, 6pm, The Stay-at-Home Literary Festival - via Zoom

Solace in Sound – Three Bloodaxe Poets Explore the Landscape of Grief

Join a trio of Bloodaxe poets whose recent poetry collections span Scotland, Ireland, England and Estonia. Each shares a powerful sense of their formative landscapes; whether farmland, forest, mountains, estuaries, rivers or beyond. In poems that consider the impact of loss – of friends and friendships, parents, or a communal event of the most traumatic kind – these collections foster sympathy and strength. The poets will read from their own work, and also from each other’s, creating a unique conversation about memory and resonance in the landscape.

With Heidi Williamson, Jane Clarke and Philip Gross.  They were reading from their recent collections Return by Minor Road, When the Tree Falls and Between the Islands, and read poems by each other to start and end their own readings.  The start of the video below has been cut off - Philip was in the middle of reading 'The Fisherman' from Jane's debut collection The River.

 

 
 
International live streamed launch event, Tuesday 15th December 2020 at 7pm GMT
 
Jane Clarke, Jane Hirshfield & Arundhathi Subramaniam
 
Bloodaxe Books Editor Neil Astley hosted this international live streamed reading by Jane Clarke, Jane Hirshfield and Arundhathi Subramaniam, celebrating the publication of their new or recent poetry collections. They joined the event from their homes in Co Wicklow, California and Bombay. They each gave two sets of readings, followed by a discussion that revealed many connections between these three outstanding poets.
 
This extraordinary reading and discussion is now on YouTube. Jane Clarke read first, and then again after the other two poets had read from their collecctions.
 
 
 
 

Saturday 28th November 2020, 6.00pm – 7.30pm, Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Festival of Poetry

Jane Clarke | Ranjit Hoskote | Mary Jean Chan
 
The festival featured 36 poets from fifteen countries.  Fellow Bloodaxe poet Imtiaz Dharker read later that evening.
 
Jane Clarke read from both her Bloodaxe collections, and also read her new poems 'Her First', 'Flowers from the Hills' and 'Little Tern Colony, Kilcoole'.
 
 
 

Jane Clarke Reading at the Burren Winterage Weekend, 21 October 2020
 


A Burren Winterage Weekend 2020 keynote talk by James Rebanks, author of two bestselling and critically acclaimed books, The Shepherd’s Life (2015) and English Pastoral (2020). In this talk, he gives an overview of his farm, his farming practices, and how they have changed over time. James also talks about his grassland and soil management, and his obsession with soil and regenerative grazing practices, as well as the habitat restoration work they have undertaken. James is a traditional upland sheep and cattle farmer in Matterdale in the Land District, breeding Belted Galloways and Herdwick sheep and he champions nature-friendly farming practices.

This is followed by a talk with poet Jane Clarke who grew up on a farm in Co. Roscommon. Jane talks about how this way of life inspired her writing and reads poems from her two highly acclaimed collections, The River and When the Tree Falls (Bloodaxe Books 2015 & 2019). 

James Rebanks and Jane Clarke met in London when their first books were both shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize for writing that celebrates the spirit of a place.
 

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INSIDE WRITING FESTIVAL
 
Jane gave a reading from her home as part of the Inside Writing digital poetry festival organised by the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts in lieu of the annual Newcastle Poetry Festival. Her readings were shared online during the week of 15-19 June 2020.  She read and introduced three poems from When the Tree Falls:  'He stood at the top of the stairs', 'I've got you' and 'The trouble'.
 
She went on to read two new poems, 'April wake' and 'First earlies'.  The poems were written on 19 and 21 April 2020, and are included on Manchester Writing School’s WRITE where we are NOW website, which gathers together poems written in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  You can read the poems here and here.

 
 
 
BLOOMSDAY 2020
 
Jane Clarke was commissioned to write a poem for Bloomsday, 16 June 2020.  Her poem 'Night Boat, North Wall Quay' can be read here. A film of her reading the poem is below.  
 
 
 
 
JANE CLARKE READING FROM HER HOME

Jane Clarke gave a virtual reading for episode 4 of the new LIVE Network series on Friday 29 May 2020.
 
Black Tea and Birdsong with Jane Clarke (sponsored by Roscommon Arts Centre). Jane reads five poems from her collection When the Tree Falls  accompanied by birdsong from her garden. She was interviewed by Dani Gill.

 
 
 
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TOUR OF US & UK, AUTUMN 2019
 
Jane was on tour in the US 23 October- 2 November 2019. She gave a number of readings plus a workshop in Washington DC, organised by Solas Nua, including a public interview with Ron Charles (Washington Post) in the "Life of a Poet" Forum.  She ended her tour by reading at Poetryfest at the Irish Arts Centre in New York.  See video below of her NYU reading.
 
While she was in Washington, Jane was interviewed by Grace Cavalieri for The Library of Congress's The Poem & the Poet series. This half-hour interview is available here.
 
Jane Clarke visited the UK 16-20 November to read at the Woodstock Poetry Festival near Oxford and at Goldsmiths Writers' Centre in London. 
 
 
 
 
Washington DC launch for Jane Clarke's When the Tree Falls
 
Jane Clarke's reading at NYU Washington, DC in October 2019, part of her US tour organised by Solas Nua.  Jane read poems from her latest book, When the Tree Falls, and took questions from the audience.  She also read four poems from All the Way Home, her illustrated booklet of poems in response to a First World War family archive held in the Mary Evans Picture Library, London (Smith|Doorstop, April 2019). She began and ended her reading with poems from her debut collection The River
 
Wonderful introduction by Paddy Meskell, who set out the five things that make Jane's poems something special to him, starting with her use of language:            
'The language is as spare and bare as a winter's field'.
 
 
 
 
Jane Clarke reads from When the Tree Falls

Jane Clarke reads and introduces twelve poems from When the Tree Falls: ‘Copper Soles’, ‘you pull yourself up’, ‘Those days’, ‘The Polling Station’, ‘The Hurley-maker’, ‘The trouble’, ‘Hers’, ‘Map’, ‘I’ve got you’, ‘Cypress’, ‘Aftergrass’ and ‘Kelly’s Garden’. Neil Astley filmed her reading selections from her two Bloodaxe collections at her home in Glenmalure in April 2019.

 

[17 April 2023]


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