Event 14

Cardiff Poetry Experiment: Irish Women Poets

Saturday February 15 2020

Temple of Peace


Ailbhe Darcy hosts The Cardiff Poetry Experiment: Irish Women Poets on Saturday 15th February at 6:00 pm. 

Wales Book of the Year winner, poet Ailbhe  Darcy introduces this trio of performers who expand the limits of the Irish canon. Cherry Smyth will read from her extraordinary book on the Irish famine, Famished, accompanied by ‘Powerful, freewheeling’ jazz singer Lauren Kinsella. Multi-prizewinning poet Nerys Williams, originally from West Wales, now based in Dublin, reads from her thought-provoking collection, Cabaret, and new work.

£5, or £3 with concessions

Authors and Artists

Ailbhe Darcy

Ailbhe Darcy was born in Dublin in 1981 and brought up there. She studied for her PhD and MFA at the University of Notre Dame in the US, and taught there and at the University of Münster in Germany. She is now a lecturer in Creative Writing at Cardiff University. She has published her poetry in Ireland, Britain and the USA.

She is the author of a pamphlet, A Fictional Dress, with Tall Lighthouse in 2009; and her first book length collection, Imaginary Menagerie, appeared from Bloodaxe in 2011, and was shortlisted for Ireland’s dir Strong Award at Poetry Now/Mountains to sea. A collaboration with S.J. Folwer, Subcritical Texts, was published by Gorse in 2017.

Her second collection, Insistence, was published by Bloodaxe in 2018 and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2018 and the Irish Times Poetry Now Award in 2019. It won the Pigott Poetry Prize in 2019 in association with Listowel Writers’ Week, Ireland’s largest poetry prize. Insistence also won the Roland Mathias Poetry Award, the English language poetry category of the Wales Book of the Year Awards, and went on to be awarded the overall prize, Wales Book of the Year 2019.

Cherry Smyth

Cherry Smyth is an Irish writer, living in London.  Her first two poetry collections, When the Lights Go Up, 2001 and  One Wanted Thing, 2006 were published by Lagan Press.  Her third collection  Test, Orange,  2012, and fourth,  Famished, 2019 were published by Pindrop Press. 

Her debut novel,  Hold Still, Holland Park Press, appeared in 2013.  Famished also tours as a performance in collaboration with vocalist Lauren Kinsella and composer Ed Bennett. Cherry writes for visual art magazines including  Art Monthly. 

For more information please visit  www.cherrysmyth.com 

Lauren Kinsella

Lauren Kinsella is an Irish vocalist, composer and improviser based in London. Her music is described as ‘a multi-faceted jewel’ (Clash Magazine) and ‘opposes clichés in every possible direction’ (For Folk’s Sake).

As a lecturer in Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London and Leeds College of Music, she is also a passionate educator. She completed her masters with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Featuring regularly on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 6, RTE Lyric FM, Jazz FM, BBC Radio Scotland, Le Bande Passante, Sverigesradio and ORF Radio Lauren’s music has a dedicated listening audience. She has released critically acclaimed albums on Edition Records, WideEarRecords, Diatribe and Two River Records with the latest Snowpoet album Thought You Knew being described by National Public Radio USA as one of the best jazz albums of 2018.

For more information please visit www.laurenkinsella.com

Nerys Williams

Nerys Williams’s  first volume of poetry, Sound Archive (Seren, 2011), was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Forward prize and won the Strong first volume prize. She was Government of Wales Poet in Residence at Passa Porta, Brussels as part of their  Literature of Loss  programme in 2017. That year her second volume  Cabaret  was published by New Dublin Press. 

She is an Associate Professor in American Literature at University College, Dublin and has written extensively on contemporary poetry and poetics. Nerys is a Fulbright Alumnus and last Autumn was a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley. She is originally from Carmarthenshire. 

Sponsors and Supporters

This event is supported by Culture Ireland

This event is supported by Llenyddiaeth Cymru – Literature Wales

This event is supported by the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff University