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January 1, 2030
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I’m currently putting the finishing touches to my third poetry collection. It opens with a sequence of poems about Mary Magdalene. Some of the poems explore the pain and joy of what it means to be alive and how my life changed after my heart attacks. Others are haunting and meditative.
You can listen to one of these poems Between Crossing & Passing here. This poem appeared on the Poetry Jukebox ‘A Deeper Country’ curation, inspired by the work of CS Lewis.
The Return of the Buffalo is my second collection and was published by Lagan Press in 2013.
The Back Cover:
Whether dealing with grief at the loss of a father, a devastating personal tragedy or the vicissitudes of married love, Deirdre Cartmill’s The Return of the Buffalo attempts to make sense of an often harsh and seemingly meaningless world.
Central to the collection is a poem regarding a visit to Alcatraz in San Francisco – the site of a Native American occupation in the 1960s. Struck by parallels to her own experiences, Cartmill finds hope and consolation in this meditation on the Native American myth that the birth of a white buffalo calf and the revival of the buffalo population will herald a new age.
Other poems in the collection echo and deepen this desire to begin again.
While refusing to shy away from painful realities, The Return of the Buffalo is ultimately about the possibility of redemption.
Listen to some poems from The Return of the Buffalo in this video.
My first collection Midnight Solo was published by Lagan Press in 2004.
The Back Cover:
The poems in Deirdre Cartmill’s eagerly awaited debut collection have their genesis in those tortured moments that spill out when you’re utterly alone – in the aftermath of a lover’s tiff, confronting the revenants of the shared past or coping with the loss of a father. These poems are often ferocious but always intensely human.
Cartmill views the world from the perspective of a new generation of poets who grew up through the conflict in the north of Ireland and who share a fractured sense of life and loss, who kick against the incongruity and irrationality which lingers in the post-conflict society, while struggling to envision a new normality.
Never self-indulgent, the poems of Midnight Solo broach important subjects and are often underpinned by a subtle ironic humour. Intellect collides with emotion in her short lyrics, her nervy and nimble use of forms and her ambitious longer sequences.
By turns uncompromising and intimate, always surefooted and compelling, these poems have an edge and resonance that stays with the reader. This is a powerful and assured debut from an exciting new voice.
“…an arresting first collection of ferocious and poignant verse.” Newsletter
“This debut collection from Deirdre Cartmill is superb. Her poetry balances emotional depth with vibrant imagery fed by personal experience, geography and history.
From Sadie strutting like an indignant swan to an exotic stranger smoking a Dunhill, Deirdre draws upon all the senses in the forging of her poems, which she kindly shares with us.” Julie on Goodreads
Listen to some poems from Midnight Solo in this video.