With Illustrations by Helen Chantrell
After five chapbooks and ten years writing poetry, this first full collection has a wide wingspan and a sharp eye. Migrating from Dublin to Lough Gara, on the Sligo Roscommon border, the intimacies of personal life sit easily next to global themes of conflict, the environment, migration, and the universal matters of love and death. Politics – with a small p – are always just under the skin of Jessamine O’Connor’s writing, but she avoids telling the reader what to think, instead she shows by example how to feel.
“These barefaced poems don’t back down from anything or anyone. Jessamine takes her pen to the world around her and documents it in all its misshappen ugliness and all its impossible beauty. These poems don’t flinch from how much life hurts but somehow in their humour, kindness and lightness they show us how to love it anyway.” Sarah Clancy
Jessamine O’Connor grew up in Dublin and moved to the west of Ireland in 1999 where she now lives in an old train station on the Sligo Roscommon border.
She is recipient of the Francis Ledwidge award, and winner of the iYeats and Poetry Ireland Butler’s Café competitions. Her work has been shortlisted at the Doolin Writer’s Weekend, Over the Edge New Writer of the Year, Cúirt New Writing, Red Line Book Festival, Dead Good Poetry, Westport Literary Festival and Hennessy Literary Awards.
Her short film, The Stranger, was shortlisted for the 2019 O Bhéal International Poetry Film Competition. Publications include The Stinging Fly, Poetry New Zealand, The North, The Ofi Press, One, Shot Glass Journal, Abridged, Fifth Estate, The Poet’s Republic, The Cormorant, Ink Sweat & Tears and New Irish Writing; and anthologies such as Culture Matters, Yeats 150, The Colour of Saying, and Strokestown Poetry Festival Anthology. She has published several chapbooks including one with The Black Light Engine Room press. This is her first collection.