Ailbhe Darcy Readings

Ailbhe Darcy Readings

'Ailbhe Darcy’s Insistence is a powerful voicing of life-on-the-edge. In this collection the trauma of early motherhood is twinned with economic decline, as she urgently interrogates ideas of domesticity, natural order and environmental responsibility. Her virtuosic adaptation of Inger Christensen’s Alphabet is a monument to the precariousness of our times.' - Sinéad Morrissey, Chair of Judges, T S Eliot Prize 2018

Cardiff-based Irish poet Ailbhe Darcy's second collection Insistence was written in the American Rust Belt, in an era of climate change and upheaval.  Insistence takes stock of the parent’s responsibility to her child, the poet’s responsibility to the reader, and the vulnerability of the person in the face of global crisis. Insistence was published by Bloodaxe in May 2018, and was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize 2018.

Ailbhe gave a series of launch readings for the collection, starting in Cardiff, with further launches in Dublin and Cork.  She read at Ledbury Poetry Festival in June 2018, at the John Hewitt Summer School in Armagh in July, and  in Newcastle in October (a film of  her wonderful reading in Newcastle is posted below), as well as at the T S Eliot Prize Readings at London's Royal Festival Hall on 13 January 2019. 

Highlights from the T S Eliot Prize Readings were broadcast in a special hour-long edition of Radio 3's The Verb on Monday 14 January 2019.  Listen here.  Ailbhe features at 12.40.  She read the final section of section 11 of her long poem 'alphabet'. 

The full T S Eliot Prize Readings are available here. Ailbhe Darcy read exclusively from her long poem 'alphabet'.

Ailbhe Darcy was interviewed on RTE Radio 1's arts show Arena on Wednesday 20 June 2018.  Listen here.  She was also interviewed on RTE's The Poetry Programme on Sunday 16 December, 7.30pm (half-hour interview).  Links to interviews with Ailbhe Darcy are here.




Cúirt  International Festival of Literature, Galway, Ireland, 8-14 April 2019

Ailbhe Darcy will be reading at Cúirt in Galway.  Fellow Bloodaxe poet Patricia Smith will be launching Incendiary Art at the festival. 

Full programme to be announced on 5 March at


Insistence is reviewed  by John McAuliffe in The Irish Times here.  The collection was also one of John McAuliffe's poetry books of the year 2018:

'It was a good year for individual collections too: there was outstanding work in TS Eliot-shortlisted books by Ailbhe Darcy (Insistence, Bloodaxe) and Nick Laird (Feel Free, Faber). - John McAuliffe, The Irish Times (Poetry Books of the Year)

An in-depth review is on the international online journal BODY here.

'Darcy’s Insistence insists on our attention, and negotiating our way through the poems with her is an intensely rewarding experience' - Catherine Ann Cullen, Dublin Review of Books

Click here to read the full review in Dublin Review of Books.


Ailbhe Darcy reads ‘Nice’

This video is an excerpt from the fuller video below and shows Ailbhe Darcy reading her poem ‘Nice’ from Insistence.


Ailbhe Darcy reads from Insistence at Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

In this excerpt from Ailbhe Darcy’s reading (with Finuala Dowling) at Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts on 11 October 2018, she reads six poems from Insistence: ‘Nice’, ‘After my son was born’, ‘A guided tour of the house and its environs’, ‘Ansel Adams’ Aspens’, ‘Silver’ and ’Still’.



[15 January 2019]

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