Jane Clarke on RTÉ Radio 1 & in The Irish Times
‘A Change in the Air, Jane Clarke’s third collection, is a quiet, stoical meditation on fragility and mortality. Humanity takes its place within the rhythms of a natural world built on acceptance, community, and renewal. The title promises the best kind of revolution: freshness and wholesomeness – and the poems which follow deliver on this … In Jane Clarke’s hands, clarity, purity and strength speak for themselves. Her words are weighed and used sparingly. They take your breath away.’ – John Field, T S Eliot Prize Reviewer
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 the Forward Prize for Best Collection. It is on the shortlist for 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.
London Grip, online 13 November 2023
An excellent detailed review of Jane Clarke’s third collection A Change in the Air was featured online in London Grip on 13 November.
‘Her delicacy of expression, her minutely-observed descriptions, her almost teasing understatements, all bring delight ... Clarke appears to relish the opportunity to draw with a fine pencil, as she offers precise descriptions of ordinary events and experiences.’ - Alwyn Marriage, London Grip
Jane Clarke’s T S Eliot Prize-shortlisted third collection A Change in the Air was the focus of the T S Eliot Prize e-newsletter of 2 November 2023. It featured Readers’ Notes, an excellent review by John Field, and videos of Jane Clarke reading from and talking about her book. Her poem ‘Spalls’ was featured in the newsletter.
‘A Change in the Air offers a generous-hearted view of the world … In Jane Clarke’s hands, clarity, purity and strength speak for themselves. Her words are weighed and used sparingly. They take your breath away.’ – John Field, T S Eliot Prize reviewer
John Field’s brilliant review is available in full on the T S Eliot Prize website:
Readers’ Notes for A Change in the Air
The Irish Times, Q&A interview, Saturday 28 October 2023
Jane Clarke was interviewed for a Q&A with Martin Doyle for The Irish Times. A 600-word piece appeared as a full-page spread in the print edition on 28 October. She spoke about the Windfall anthology which she has edited, her own poetry collections, her background in psychotherapy, her upbringing on a farm in Co Roscommon, and what drew her to nature poetry.
A longer version of the interview is available online by subscription.
Sunday Independent, ‘My Life in Books’, Sunday 29 October 2023
Jane Clarke was interviewed for the Sunday Independent’s ‘My Life in Books’ feature. It appeared in print on 29 October as an almost full-page feature. All her books, including the Windfall anthology, were mentioned in the introductory bio. The feature also ran in her regional newspaper Bray People on 8 November.
Under ‘The book you give as a present’, Jane recommended Neil Astley’s 2002 Staying Alive: real poems for unreal times anthology.
‘I often give people Staying Alive or any other anthology in that Bloodaxe series, so brilliantly edited by Neil Astley. There’s a poem for everyone there.’ – Jane Clarke.
In the section about books on her bedside table, Jane included ‘I Think We’re Alone Now by UK poet Abigail Parry’ – which is on the shortlist for the TS Eliot Prize 2023 along with Jane’s third collection A Change in the Air.
Available online in full by subscription via the Irish Independent's website. Read here.
The Poet and the Poem: Jane Clarke, US Library of Congress podcast, online 2 October 2023
Jane Clarke was interviewed by Grace Cavalieri for her half-hour Library of Congress podcast The Poet and the Poem. Jane read and discussed poems from her third collection A Change in the Air. She spoke about the different sections of the book, and about her upbringing on a farm in Co Roscommon. Jane was in the US to give readings from her new collection in Washington DC and in Princeton.
For the podcast, Jane read her poems ‘After’, ‘Dressing My Mother for her Grandson’s Wedding’, ‘All the horses she’s ever loved’ from the first section of A Change in the Air, followed by two poems from her sequence about the lead mining heritage of Co Wicklow: ‘Christmas Morning’ and ‘Pit Ponies of Glendasan’. She read a long extract from her poem about the creation of the Irish border, ‘You could say it begins’, which is based on interviews with women who live along the border. She ended by reading three poems from the final section: ‘At Purteen Harbour’, ‘Spalls’ and ‘June’.
‘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
Jane was interviewed by Grace Cavalieri in 2019 about her second collection When the Tree Falls.
The Washington Post, Book Club Newsletter, Friday 29 September 2023
Ron Charles, Book Critic of The Washington Post, featured Jane Clarke’s poem ‘Shepherd’ from A Change in the Air in his Washington Post Book Club newsletter of 29 September. He hosted a public interview with Jane Clarke later that day in Washington DC at NYU's John Brademas Center.
‘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 newsletter
US ONLINE BOOKS FEATURE
Shepherd.com, The best books to make you fall in love with nature poetry (chosen by Jane Clarke), online September 2023
Jane Clarke was invited to choose five books about nature and the environment for the US book site Shepherd.com. She began by introducing herself and her new collection A Change in the Air.
‘Ever since my childhood on a farm poetry has helped me pay attention to the world around me. Like a naturalist’s field guide, nature poems name, depict, and explore what might otherwise pass unnoticed. Now in the midst of environmental crisis I believe poets have a role alongside ecologists, farmers, and foresters to protect and restore our threatened habitats and species. Writing nature poetry helps me face and express loss while celebrating what still survives. I value poetry that connects us to what we love and gives us courage to imagine different ways of living.’ – Jane Clarke
One of the five books she recommended was Neil Astley’s 2007 Bloodaxe anthology Earth Shattering: Ecopoems.
Jane Clarke was invited to contribute to The Irish Times' feature on creativity which ran in print and online on 26 September.
‘I’ve learned that creativity is fed by playfulness, curiosity, sadness and love. There’s an element of mystery to making a poem, but it is also as practical as making a cake.’ – Jane Clarke, The Irish Times
The Forward Prize's 'Meet the Poet' interview with Jane Clarke went online on 25 August 2023, accompanied by the poem ‘Spalls’ from A Change in the Air, which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Read via the Forward Prizes for Poetry website here.
Jane Clarke's ‘inimitable and beautiful new collection’ A Change in the Air was given a brilliant in-depth review in the online regional newspaper the Yorkshire Times on 28 July 2023.
‘What animates Jane Clarke are love and endurance: artfully calibrated, each section of A Change in the Air is an emotional complement to the next, for each poem hangs on one, or sometimes several, exquisitely clarified observations of landscape and of the figures in it, magnified as if through water. The two are in any case indivisible – the agricultural terrain is presented as a series of potent images whose significance is a measure of the unseen connection anchoring people to the world that made them.’ – Steve Whitaker, Yorkshire Times
Books Ireland, Poet on Poet, online 21 June 2023
A wonderful in-depth review of Jane Clarke’s third collection A Change in the Air has gone online at Books Ireland in their poet on poet review series. Irish poet Eleanor Hooker was the reviewer. The feature linked to the video which Jane had made especially for Books Ireland of her reading her poem ‘Dressing My Mother for Her Grandson’s Wedding’ - also see below.
‘… 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
Arena, RTÉ Radio 1, Tuesday 11 July 2023, 7-8pm
Jane Clarke was interviewed live down the line on RTÉ Radio 1’s arts programme Arena on 11 July. She was speaking to presenter Seán Rocks about her third collection A Change in the Air, and about her response to the book having been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. She read her poems ‘Crossings’ and ‘Lazy Beds’ from the book.
The interview is available as a 14-minute clip, illustrated with a photographic portrait of Jane Clarke taken for the RTÉ arts project Illuminations in 2020.
Wicklow People, online 7 July 2023
A feature on Jane Clarke’s third collection A Change in the Air having been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection ran in the Wicklow People of 7 July. The Wicklow Times also covered the story. Jane grew up on a farm in Co Roscommon, but has lived in Co Wicklow for nearly thirty years now.
COUNTRYWIDE POEM FEATURE WITH JANE CLARKE
CountryWide, RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday 27 May 2023, 8.10-9am
Jane Clarke recorded her poem ‘Butter for Queens’ from A Change in the Air especially for RTÉ Radio 1's CountryWide. It aired on 27 May and is now available as a separate podcast. Introduced by presenter Philip Boucher-Hayes.
Listen via the CountryWide webpages here.
Jane Clarke’s poem 'Pit Ponies of Glendasan' - from which the title of her third collection A Change in the Air is taken - was featured in The Scotsman Magazine on 3 June. This is one of a sequence of poems Jane Clarke wrote especially for the BBC Radio 4 feature she presented in 2020 about The Miners’ Way in Co Wicklow.
Jane Clarke’s tender poems ‘Her first’ and ‘Wife’ from A Change in the Air were featured online at Bookanista to mark publication day on 25 May.
A lovely film of Jane Clarke reading her poem ‘Dressing My Mother for Her Grandson’s Wedding’ from A Change in the Air was featured on Books Ireland to mark publication here (and below). The collection was later reviewed by Eleanor Hooker in Books Ireland here.
The Irish Times, Poem of the Week, Saturday 20 May 2023
Jane Clarke’s poem ‘All the horses she’s ever loved’ from her third collection A Change in the Air was featured as Poem of the Week in The Irish Times of 20 May ahead of publication on 25 May.
In print and online (view 3 articles for free). Read the poem online in The Irish Times here.
CountryWide, RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday 29 April 2023, 8.10-9am
For this edition of CountryWide, reporter Della Kilroy visited Jane at her home near Glenmalure, where Jane read her poem ‘The Key’ about moving into that house nearly thirty years ago. They then took a walk into nearby woods, and Jane spoke about the flora and fauna of the area, as well as the changes in biodiversity that have taken place since since she moved to Co Wicklow. Jane read her poem ‘Stepping in’ beside the pool in the River Avonmore where she swims, as described in the poem.
Jane speaks about the mining heritage of Co Wicklow and reads her poem 'Christmas Morning' from A Change in the Air. Listen here (from 14:10).
Rattle, Poem feature, #29, Spring 2023
Jane Clarke’s ‘After’, the first poem in her third collection A Change in the Air, was featured in the spring issue of Rattle, as part of their Irish tribute issue. Audio of Jane reading the poem is included with the online edition. Jane will also be recording an interview for Rattlecast ahead of US distribution of A Change in the Air in August 2023.
Culture File Weekly, RTÉ Lyric FM, Saturday 3 December 2022, 6.30pm
This lovely event was recorded live at the Dublin Book Festival in the National Botanic Gardens, and was broadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM on 3 December 2022.
Nature Nights: Brother Sun, Sister Moon, RTÉ Radio 1, Wednesday 2 November 2022, 10.50-11pm
Jane Clarke read three poems on Brother Sun, Sister Moon, part of RTE Radio 1’s week-long series of late-night programmes on nature and biodiversity, Nature Nights.
Jane read her poems 'The Dipper' and ‘Shepherd’ from her third collection A Change in the Air, and ‘Cypress’ from When the Tree Falls.
‘John Connell, poet Jane Clarke and environmental campaigner Lorna Gold read from their own work and classical writings on themes of nature and reflect on how the natural world has inspired artists since ancient times.’
Jane read ‘The Dipper’ at 00:54, ‘Shepherd’ at 02:07 and ‘Cypress’ at 05:13. Listen here.
Jane Clarke was Resident Poet for the Nature Nights series. Her poems were threaded into other programmes during the week.
JANE CLARKE INTERVIEW ON RTE RADIO 1’s COUNTRYWIDE
POEMS FEATURED ON RTE RADIO 1’s COUNTRYWIDE
CountryWide, RTE Radio 1, Saturday 12 June 2021 & Saturday 6 November 2021, Saturday 8 January 2022, Saturday 16 April 2022, 8.10-9am
Jane Clarke has recorded a number of poems for RTE Radio 1’s farming and rural life programme CountryWide. The first of these, ‘Camping at Bearna’ from When the Tree Falls, was broadcast on 12 June 2021. The poem was introduced by presenter Damien O’Reilly and ran as the final item in the programme.
The second poem, ‘That I could’ from When the Tree Falls, aired on 6 November. Jane gave a very moving reading of her poem, which presenter Damien O'Reilly linked to the suffering of so many people during the pandemic. ‘That I could’ was also featured as Poem of the Week in The Yorkshire Times of 12 October 2021. Read in full here.
Jane Clarke recorded her new poem ‘Fences’ especially for CountryWide. It was broadcast near the end of the programme on 8 January 2022. It is now included in her third collection A Change in the Air.
'Fences', 8 January 2022. Listen here.
‘That I could’, 6 November 2021. Listen here.
'Camping at Bearna', 12 June 2021. Listen here.
Jane has recorded her new poem ‘Eggs’ for CountryWide. It was broadcast near the end of the programme on 16 April 2022 – Easter Saturday. The poem is published in Jane’s third collection A Change in the Air.
'Eggs', 16 April 2022. Listen here.
Jane Clarke’s interview on CountryWide from 6 June 2020 is still available as a podcast. She took a walk with Ella McSweeney in the hills near her home in Glenmalure and spoke about what inspires her poetry. Listen here.
Jane Clarke was the guest on the Royal Irish Academy’s podcast Shelfmarks of 24 October. Zoë Comyns went to meet Jane at home in Co Wicklow in August 2021, and they spent the morning making this recording, and taking a walk.
Jane spoke about finding inspiration from the landscapes of Roscommon, Wicklow and the Mourne Mountains, and from the people who inhabit those landscapes both now and in the past. She talked about how to Co Wicklow 25 years ago prompted her to start writing, and how ‘emotion, memory and imagination’ work together in her work. Jane read her new poem ‘Flowers from the Hills’, written for her sick mother during the first lockdown when she was unable to visit her. The newly-commissioned poems she read were ‘When he was a boy’, about her shepherd neighbor, and another inspired by the stone masons who used to work in the Mourne Mountains. Her grandmother was from County Down. ‘When he was a boy’ is now called ‘Shepherd’ and is published in Jane's third collection A Change in the Air.
‘Zoë’s guest this week on Shelfmarks is poet Jane Clarke. Jane grew up in Co Roscommon and came to writing after a career in psychotherapy. She moved to Wicklow almost 25 years ago and Zoë visited her there in her home and took a walk up a lane known as Fairy Lane or Lousy Land and listeners will hear two specially commissioned poems about her neighbour and quarrymen.’
Jane features from 7:50. Listen here.
JANE CLARKE READS NEW POEMS ON SUNDAY MISCELLANY
Sunday Miscellany, RTE Radio 1, Sunday 12 September 2021, 9.10-10am
Jane Clarke read her new poem ‘The Lookout’ on Sunday Miscellany on 12 September. This is the third of three new poems by Jane Clarke featured on the programme. 'The Lookout' is included in Jane's third collection A Change in the Air.
Available as a podcast, illustrated with a portrait of Jane Clarke. Listen here.
Jane read her new love poem ‘22nd of June’ on Sunday Miscellany on 27 June 2021. Listen here. This poem is now called 'June' and is the final poem in her third collection A Change in the Air,
Jane Clarke read her poem about Nora Barnacle on Sunday Miscellany’s Bloomsday special on 13 June 2021.‘Night Boat, North Wall Quay’ was a commission for the Bloomsday Festival in 2020. Listen here.
RTE ONE TV INTERVIEW WITH JANE CLARKE ON NATIONWIDE
Nationwide: Wicklow Mountains, RTE One TV, Friday 23 October 2020, 7pm
An interview with poet Jane Clarke opened RTE One’s Nationwide on 23 October 2020. This edition of the programme is devoted to things to see and do around the Wicklow Mountains, including the Miners’ Way long distance path. Former miner Robbie Carter told his story of the explosion in the last working mine at Glendasan, and Jane Clarke read her poem that he inspired – ‘Foxrock Mine’. They were both filmed on location at the disused mine.
'Foxrock Mine' was one of a sequence of new poems the Jane Clarke wrote especially for the BBC Radio 4 programme she presented in May 2020, The Miners’ Way, in which she walked the 19km path and interviewed people connected with the mine along the way: former miner Robbie Carter, as well as local historian Carmel O'Toole and sheep farmer Pat Dunne - also interviewed on Nationwide. The 'Pit Ponies of Glendasan' sequence is published in Jane's third collection A Change in the Air,
Watch here. First item.
For more on Jane's sequence of poems about the disused mines of Co Wicklow, and the Radio 4 programme she presented, see: https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/news?articleid=1025
RTE commissioned Jane Clarke to write a new poem for a special concert to support artists during this time of Covid-19. It was broadcast on RTE television on 29 August 2020. Irish/Sierra Leonean ArtSoul musician & actress Loah read Jane’s poem ‘Little Tern Colony, Kilcoole’ (now published in A Change in the Air, 2023). The concert was broadcast on RTE Radio the following day. It was RTE's pick of the day on 29 August. This hour of music and words filmed at the Iveagh Gardens, the National Concert Hall and at RTÉ over the summer. Threaded throughout, there is powerful commissioned spoken word and poetry from John Boyne, Jane Clarke and others.
A video of Loah reading the poem can be seen via RTE One’s facebook page here.
RTE have photographed the artists taking part in the shine concert for a digital gallery. Jane was invited to go to Dublin at the end of August 2020 to be filmed reading her new poem ‘Little Tern Colony, Kilcoole’. The digital gallery accompanying Jane's poem features a stunning photographic portrait of Jane, the text of the poem, her introduction to it, and a film of her reading it.
NEW POEM ON RTE RADIO 1'S THE POETRY PROGRAMME
The Poetry Programme: Poems in a Pandemic, RTE Radio 1, Monday 1 June 2020, 1.30pm
Jane Clarke and Kerry Hardie both read new poems on this very moving special edition of The Poetry Programme broadcast on Ireland’s Bank Holiday, 1 June.
Both poems were written in April, 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.
Jane Clarke’s poem ‘First Earlies’ was written in Glenmalure on 21 April 2020. It is now published in her third collection A Change in the Air.
‘On Bank Holiday Monday, at 1:30 pm on 1st June, Olivia O'Leary presents a selection of poems from poets responding to the Covid 19 crisis in Poems in a Pandemic: a Poetry Programme Special.’
Kerry features at 15:09 and Jane at 22:58. Listen via The Poetry Programme's webpages here.
Beautiful half-hour BBC Radio 4 feature presented by Irish poet Jane Clarke. She reads 'Birthing the Lamb' from When the Tree Falls, along with a new sequence of poems. The Miners' Way was chosen by Antonia Quirke for her Pick of the Week of 3 May on BBC Radio 4, beginning with Jane reading her poem 'Birthing the Lamb', followed by a clip from the end of the programme.
The Miners' Way is no longer available to listen to, but details are here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000htr0
ARTICLE BY JANE CLARKE IN THE IRISH TIMES
Jane Clarke wrote about the Miners' Way of Glenmalure, Glendalough and Glendasan in The Irish Times of 1 May ahead of her BBC Radio 4 feature The Miners' Way. Her article is here. It includes one of the new poems she has written especially for the programme. You can hear Jane read this poem on the Words Lightly Spoken podcast. Click here to listen.
[26 April 2023]