Jane Clarke interviews, books of the year & poem features

Jane Clarke interviews, books of the year & poem features

‘The Irish poet Jane Clarke has followed a great debut collection with an even better second book. When the Tree Falls talks about her farming father in his last years. It delivers a clean, hard-earned simplicity and a lovely sense of line.’ – Anne Enright, The Irish Times (Books of the Year 2019)
Irish poet Jane Clarke's second full-length collection When the Tree Falls, published by Bloodaxe in September 2019.  It was shortlisted for three major Irish poetry prizes - the 2020 Pigott Poetry Prize, the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Farmgate Cafe National Poetry Award 2020 - and was longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2020 for books celebrating the spirit of a place.  Her lyrically eloquent poems bear witness to the rhythms of birth and death, celebration and mourning, endurance and regrowth.  An elegiac sequence, inspired by the loss of her father, moves gracefully through this second collection.  Jane's debut collection The River was published by Bloodaxe in June 2015 to great acclaim. Her third collection A Change in the Air will follow in May 2023.
Jane Clarke's Dublin Book Festival Departures film and details of her past and forthcoming readings are on her events page here
Dublin Book Festival has posted an online interview with Jane Clarke ahead of her sell-out event at the National Botanic Gardens later in Feburary 2023.  She talks about her forthcoming collection A Change in the Air, which is published by Bloodaxe in May 2023.   Read the feature here.

Rattle, Poem feature, #29, Spring 2023

Jane Clarke’s ‘After’, the first poem in her forthcoming 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.
Read and listen to the poem on the Rattle website here.

CountryWide, RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday 21 January 2023, 8.10-9am

A recording of Jane Clarke reading her poem ‘The Yellow Jumper’ from When the Tree Falls was played on RTE Radio 1's CountryWide on 21 January, introduced by the new presenter Philip Boucher-Hayes.

‘Poet Jane Clarke reads her poem 'The Yellow Jumper', a reflection on gift giving.’
Available as a separate podcast on the CountryWide webpage here.


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 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.  
Listen to the discussion via the RTE website here.

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 forthcoming 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.

Nature Nights: My Farm at Night, RTÉ Radio 1, Thursday 3 November 2022, 10pm

Jane Clarke’s recording of her poem 'Among the Cows' from her debut collection The River was used at the end of a piece by farmer and broadcaster Hannah Quinn-Mulligan.

Jane read her poem at 06:28.  Listen here.



CountryWide, RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday 29 October 2022, 8.10-9am
Ahead of her reading at the Burren Winterage Weekend, Jane Clarke was interviewed on a special edition of RTE Radio 1's CountryWide broadcast live from the Burren on 29 October. She read her new poem 'Laying the Hedge' (too recent to be included in her forthcoming third collection), and spoke to presenter Damien O'Reilly about how the landscapes of Co Roscommon, where she grew up on a farm, and Co Wicklow, where she lives now, have influenced her work as a writer.  Jane Clarke's third collection A Change in the Air will be published by Bloodaxe in May 2023.
Jane's interview is available as a separate podcast here.


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 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 will be published in Jane’s third collection A Change in the Air, forthcoming in May 2023. 

'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.

Celebrating the Centenary podcast, Bar of Ireland, online 15 January 2022

The Bar of Ireland invited Jane Clarke to do a podcast interview for them about her commissioned poem ‘In the Four Courts’.  She spoke about the poem, the process and about poetry in general.

Averil Deverell was from Co Wicklow, where Jane Clarke has lived for over twenty years. The poem coincides with The Bar of Ireland’s celebrations of 100 Years of Women at the Bar.  Jane read the poem at both the beginning and at the end of the podcast.

‘Poet Jane Clarke talks to her poem, ‘In the Four Courts’, commissioned by Wicklow Arts Office, to celebrate the legacy of Averil Deverell; one of the first female barristers called to the Irish Bar in 1921.’
Listen here.

Read the poem in The Irish Times of 1 January 2022 here.

Shelfmarks podcast, episode 3, online 24 October 2021

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 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 will be published in Jane's forthcoming 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.
Shaking Bog podcast, Spring 2021
Jane Clarke read and introduced her poem ‘Birthing the Lamb’ on The Shaking Bog Podcast’s Spring 2021 episode.  The poem is from her second collection When the Tree Falls.

‘Her work possesses a rare clarity and simplicity that gently resonates with the rhythms of nature and cycles of life.’ -  Catherine Nunes, The Shaking Bog Podcast

Listen here. Jane is introduced at 02:54.


Jane Clarke's poem ‘That I could’ from her second collection When the Tree Falls was featured as Poem of the Week in The Yorkshire Times of 12 October 2021. Read in full here.  Steve Whitaker also reviewed the book in 2019 here.  

‘A truly remarkable poem in a book of tendersweet elegies, ‘That I could’ whispers to the root of emotional connection, and finds an echo deep in the pastures of Roscommon.’ – Steve Whitaker, Poem of the Week, The Yorkshire Times

‘Blue Cards’ from When the Tree Falls was featured as Pick of the Week on the Best American Poetry 2021 blog on 10 October 2021, edited by Terence Winch.  Read here.

Jane's poem 'When winter comes' from When the Tree Falls was discussed by Carol Rumens in her Guardian Poem of the Week column here.

'The poems are plain-spoken and restrained: they resist easy consolation. Their austerity serves to intensify the unmediated emotion they almost don’t want to capture...a poem might be born of personal loss, but, once completed and published, it has entered a different timespan, and becomes the forge where other minds are shaped and brightened.' – Carol Rumens, on  When the Tree Falls, Poem of the Week, The Guardian
The Irish Times featured 'Camping at Bearna' as their Poem of the Week on 12 October 2019 here.


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.

Still available:

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.



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. 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 will be 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

Shine: A Summer Concert, RTE One TV, 8.15pm, Saturday 29 August 2020, RTE Radio 1, Sunday 30 August, 6pm

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 the 29th August. Irish/Sierra Leonean ArtSoul musician & actress Loah read Jane’s poem ‘Little Tern Colony, Kilcoole’.  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.
A film of Jane Clarke herself reading the poem was made by RTE for Illuminations.  View here. You can also read the poem and Jane's introduction to it.
Jane reads her poem 'Little Tern Colony, Kilcoole' as part of RTE's major online exhibition exploring the impact of Covid-19. Illuminations, an online gallery of 30 works, features visual art, photography, film, music, poetry, essays and spoken word.  The poem is published in her forthcoming third collection A Change in the Air.
'Illuminations' - an RTE project.

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.
View here.


CountryWide, RTE Radio 1, Saturday 6 June 2020, 8.05am
Jane Clarke was interviewed on RTE Radio 1’s farming and rural life programme CountryWide on 6 June. She was talking to Ella McSweeney as they went for a walk together in the hills close to Jane’s home in Glenmalure. She spoke about how her memories of growing up on a farm in Roscommon were unlocked when she started to write in her forties, and about how she hopes that people will hold on to the new-found respect for the environment and nature that has emerged during lockdown.

Jane read the first poem she ever wrote – ‘Daily Bread’ from her debut collection The River - and also ‘Kelly’s Garden’, the final poem in her 2019 second collection When the Tree Falls, which names the fields of her family farm in Roscommon.

Jane grew up on a farm in Co Roscommon, but left for Dublin when she was 17.  Many of her poems draw on images of the natural world and on the landscapes of Roscommon and Co Wicklow, where she has lived for the past 20 years.  The feature she presented for BBC Radio 4 saw her walking the 19km Miners’ Way through the valleys and mountains of Wicklow.
Listen here.
Jane has recorded three poems from When the Tree Falls to be broadcast on CountryWide in 2021 (see above).


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 will be published in her forthcoming third collection A Change in the Air in May 2023.  

‘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

Jane was interviewed on RTE Radio 1's Arena on 29 June 2021 ahead of her appearance in one of Dublin Book Festival's Departures films.  Jane features in the first volume, filmed in the Wicklow mountains, which was streamed on 6 July.  Jane read her poem ‘The Suck’ from her debut collection The River.   Listen here.

Arena, RTE Radio 1, Tuesday 19 May 2020, 7-8pm

Jane Clarke was interviewed on Arena, RTE Radio 1’s week-nightly arts and popular culture show, about her second collection When the Tree Falls, which is on the three-book shortlist for the Pigott Poetry Prize 2020.

In a very moving interview, Jane spoke to Sean Rocks from her home in Glenmalure. She read and spoke about her poems ‘In Glasnevin’, ‘That I Could’ and ‘Respects’ – all from When the Tree Falls. She ended by reading a new poem – long worked on, but only just completed – ‘The Key’.

Sean Rocks asked Jane why she thought that people have been turning to poetry during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘I think it is something about the intensity and distillation of a poem. A poem is like music, it goes straight to the heart, and I think that’s what people want at the moment.’

A link to the whole programme is here.

The Miners’ Way, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 3 May 2020, 4.30pm (repeated Saturday 9 May, 11.30pm)

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 sequence of poems Jane wrote for The Miners' Way, 'Pit Pones of Glendason', will be published in her third collection A Change in the Air in May 2023.         

The Miners' Way
is no longer available to listen to, but details are here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000htr0


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.

Jane Clarke read and introduced two poems from When the Tree Falls on The Lyric Feature: Noon on 16 February 2020.  Click here to listen (Jane features at 18:00).  She read and spoke about her beautiful poem 'I've Got You' in the third and final programme in the series, Night, on 23 February.  Click here to listen (Jane features at 38:00).
When the Tree Falls was one of Anne Enright's books of the year choices in The Irish Times.  The collection was well reviewed by Martina Evans in the same paper here.
When the Tree Falls confirms Jane Clarke’s position as one of the most rewarding poets in these islands: she knows how to cut a line, how to shape words to the right instrument and then to make that thing sing.’ – Tony Curtis, Poetry Wales (Poetry Books of the Year 2019)
'Jane Clarke is a really extraordinary poet.  This is only her second collection, but this is a really timeless voice. She's a poet who blends the contemporary with a great sense of the ancient and the rural. Her first collection The River was a fantastic piece of work. This new collection When the Tree Falls is focussed very much around the death of her father, but it's an incredibly celebratory poetry collection that really looks at the nuts and bolts of the actual life on a farm in Roscommon...she finds such beauty in it, with such simplicity of language.  There's no sentimentality, no ornamentation; every word is incredibly honed and carries a really deep emotional weight.' - Jessica Traynor, speaking on RTE Radio 1's Arena (Poetry books of 2019)
Click here to listen to the full review and to hear Jessica give a beautiful reading of Jane Clarke's 'When winter comes'. 1st item.  See below to read Carol Rumens' comments about this poem in her Guardian poem of the week feature.
An interview with Jane Clarke featured in the inaugural issue of The Poet Magazine, Autumn 2019.  Click here to read.  Jane comments on three of the poems from When the Tree Falls here
While Jane was in Washington DC in October 2019, she was interviewed by Grace Cavalieri for The Library of Congress's The Poet & the Poem series. This half-hour interview is available here.  Jane read and spoke about her poems 'When winter comes' (see below for a link to Carol Rumens' commentary on this poem), 'Hers', 'Polling Station', 'In Glasnevin', 'I've got you', 'Lullaby' and 'Kelly's Garden' from When the Tree Falls and the title poem from The River.
Jane Clarke read and introduced her poem 'He stood at the top of the stairs' from When the Tree Falls on the Words Lightly Spoken podcast here.



Slightly Foxed podcast episode 13, online 15 November 2019

Episode 13 of the Slightly Foxed podcast explores nature writing with Jay Armstrong, founder and editor of Elementum Journal, and author Juliet Blaxland.

‘This collection of poetry weaves around the death of her father… It’s just so simple, but hugely poignant and very strong writing.’ – Jay Armstrong, recommending When the Tree Falls on the Slightly Foxed podcast

Click here to listen. Jay recommended Jane Clarke’s second poetry collection When the Tree Falls at 34.34.


A lovely feature by Fr Kevin Hegarty on discovering the poetry of Jane Clarke ran in The Mayo News of 24 November 2021.  The piece focused on her second collection When the Tree Falls, quoting in full the poems ‘Blue Cards’, ‘The Yellow Jumper’ and ‘Respects’.  Read in full here.

'Jane Clarke is making a fine contribution to Irish poetry.' - Fr Kevin Hegarty, The Mayo News

'These poems are rich and earthy, natural and cultivated, and When the Tree Falls is a beautiful second collection, giving the reader not only a sense of loss, but also peace, and even joy, in the quiet memories that live on here.' -  Aoife Lyall's thoughtful, in-depth review is here.
'Giving vent to her love for her departed father through a shared affiliation with the rustic landscape of her formative home in Roscommon, When the Tree Falls is a protracted and desperately moving song of loss... [a] wonderful, profoundly complete collection of poems.' - Steve Whitaker, The Yorkshire Times.  Read the full in-depth review here.


[24 April 2020]

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