sitemap - feedback

What's New

Blue Arrow PhD awarded 2024
  Posted on: Monday, March 18, 2024
Blue Arrow Recent Journal Publications
  Posted on: Wednesday, June 26, 2024


Máighréad Medbh's impressive, impressionistic Imbolg is by far the most innovative book of those under review . . . Imbolg is elusive and defies easy summary . . . one aspect that is compelling about the book is its attempt to reimagine the personal lyric . . . The book's strange vitality derives from the attentiveness of the poet to the shifting nature of experience.
Richard Hayes (Poetry Ireland Review, Issue 134)

Parvit of Agelast
"This highly evolved verse novel . . . Orwellian, Swiftian in the satiric bite of its allegory, a parable of genetic modification and cosmic meltdown, it is relieved by witty offhand prose asides, it bursts and wrests grammar and language to rise to sophisticated effects . . . With its bizarre cast and victim heroine it lends itself to a futuristic film or stage drama adaptation."
Medbh McGuckian

"Parvit of Agelast gives epic treatment to the themes of gender, the body, time and the meaning of myth in the post-postmodern world. Deriving its own mythological energy in part through a deep engagement with the mystical-erotic paintings of Pauline Bewick, Parvit of Agelast is a new kind of Irish allegorical-epic poem that vouchsafes Máighréad Medbh's voice and vision in contemporary poetic culture."
Philip Coleman (TCD)

Pagan to the Core
“Sometimes these poems are very funny indeed: both funny ha ha and funny peculiar. Maps to zones of the psyche that are rarely explored in Irish poetry, they are built to be experienced on the pulse, and ’in the deep heart’s core’.”
Paula Meehan, Ireland Professor of Poetry

Savage Solitude
“I took Savage Solitude to the desert - and it was such an excellent thing for me to do... I thought it was beautiful... wise and rich. It also has an extraordinary deep rhythm (almost certainly a poet's book (by not for)...”
Sara Maitland

Savage Solitude is a compelling exploration of self, an unusual combination of literary art forms that achieves a well-rounded discussion of a perennial subject. Medbh's voices are skillful perspectives that help round out the existential side of solitude and the solitary.”
Meng-hu at Read the full review here.

Twelve Beds for the Dreamer
“Twelve Beds for the Dreamer is one of the better collections I’ve read this year and well worth the purchase for its emotional wisdom, gripping images and dark, vulnerable truth.”
Jennifer Matthews for Southword magazine. Read the full review here

Video: Sumpshuss Excavations. Reading from a work in progress at an EROSS webinar, Dublin City University.

Imbolg: Published November 2020 by Arlen House.
Poems of change, walking, night, murder and lockdown. See my Books page for details.

My YouTube Channel

Excerpt from 'Imbolg' in Imbolg (2020)

A new season

My mother's wintered womb, goodbye.
It hasn't been an easy passage, sea unquiet
in a pitch of murky shots and shockings.
Take and eat me, Glut of Light, display me
in your bare-arsed honesty. Here I come
breaching the small gap like a spear
hand and leg before me.
She screams.

I am her pain.

* * *

Excerpt from Parvit of Agelast: a fantasy in verse, published September 2016.

--Shortlisted for the Pigott Prize, 2017--

"In the beginning was the closed eye, and so it will be in the end. In here happens all that will happen. In here all things are made that are made."
from The Lore of the Ancestors

* * *

"There is time," says Giant to Daughter. ˜You can stop and look."
"But there are so many places, and so much to be done," says Daughter, wild with her endless compulsions.
"There is time," Giant says, sucking a Daughter-eye from its matrix and placing it at the centre of a hollow cube within her own incalculable mass.
The walls of the cube are black at first, then become silver screens. The eye understands that there is about to be a show, but an eye does not decipher, only relays.

* * *


White, slush thick, silver glints, green spots, a red tint.
Traces of ore and settled gold, dints of crystalline spikes.
Slumps of gray, streal of icy droplets, flinty sleet hails.
But a unitary feel. A halted, vast, conspiratorial mash.

No instrument can pilot through, no pilot attempts.
It's a stomach, a full bowl. Stake your fork and cling.
Nothing pulls. Opposites collapse. Undescription.
History spread so thin it covers everything.

Challenge. Frustration. You sigh and go under. Should
you sleep, ruminate, or shovel to sheds the drippings,
the million blunted swords? You forget grass,
mountain, open sky, all that's radical in rock,

resign to hope. Miss the sudden scatter, that instant
when you first view Agelast, city of slate, designing
your fall to its order, tonguing you to its hard core.
Dense white cloud above; below, four-square gloam.

* * *

Pagan to the Core , published in 2013, is an enhanced edition of my first book, with 18 new poems that are a kind of redaction, the newer self looking back on "her". Selves, selves and more selves. Lyric eyes.

Savage Solitude: Reflections of a Reluctant Loner, explores the lone state in a series of colloquys, aphorisms and fragments. It has three internal voices, one of which consists of quotations, and I hope its references and bibliography can be something of a resource.

Details of my other books can be seen here. I’ve also written four works of fiction, three of which are ebooks at Smashwords: The Body Coat, The Coal-black Sea and The 13th Cone.

I am known as a performance poet, which at this point means that I usually recite rather than read, and deliver the poems somewhat dramatically. My main interest is in the exploration of the rhythms of experience and how to represent them structurally in language. Poetry, in other words. Having written some fiction for adults and children, I am now interested in essay and its poetic potential. My PhD consisted of a book-length poetic essay and the suggestion of a new term— Autopoetic Essay— for the attempt to imitate a living system in text. I believe this is what engages many writers of ‘lyric essay’ and ‘creative nonfiction’. It is the perennial quest to say what exceeds saying by means of the structures of saying. For more thoughts on performance and textual embodiment, I invite you to read these blogs from my series: ’Score’, ’Present and Unaccounted For’ and ’The Embodied Text’.

My (as yet unpublished) three-volume story for children, The Jimmy Meridian Story, has to do with the power and effects of thought.

Máighréad Medbh

Download The Body Coat (e-book) for free.
Buy The Coal-black Sea (e-book)
Buy The 13th Cone

Read More

Listen to a radio interview with Máighréad Medbh

Other Video Links:
Performance at Phonica: 9. 2018. "Anhedonia"
Launch of Parvit of Agelast 2016
In Conversation with Máighréad Medbh on Vimeo
Climacteric in the Extreme - YouTube
Performance at the University of Vigo
Performance from Tenant, at Wildly Different Things Art Exhibition, March 2010
Interview Tall Girl Shorts 1999

Buy Online

Imbolg Arlen House 2020
Arlen House 2020
Buy Now
Parvit of Agelast
Parvit of Agelast
Arlen House 2016
Buy Now
Pagan to the Core
Pagan to the Core
Arlen House 2014
Buy Now
Savage Solitude: Reflections of a Reluctant Loner
Savage Solitude
Dedalus Press 2013
Buy Now
Twelve Beds for the Dreamer
Twelve Beds for the Dreamer
Arlen House 2011
Buy Now
When the Air Inhales You
When the Air Inhales You
Arlen House 2008
Buy Now
Out of My Skin CD
Arlen House 2003
Buy Now
Out of My Skin CD
Out of My Skin CD
Odin Poetries 2003
Buy Now