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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

“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 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


She wanted to ride on the back of the world and here was her creature.
No dung-shoed hooves or tangled fur, no hay-baked breath.
She had read her Joyce and O’Brien, and latched.

Here she had food without oven smells. McDonalds was Mecca
for cheapened protein; coins glugged in the tidal drive
of theatre, clubs, Indian skirts and beer.

She snuffled and picked up a whiff of direction. The end of a corridor
shimmered ahead. Steel or water? Portal or foil?
Picking a thread on O’Connell Street, she followed the clue.

Followed it badly, confounded by mazes internal, stuttering
genes or history’s hidden bombs. Held herself
bound by no rule or reason, untied to career definition.

Here was the head in a stupor, making legends of drunken romances,
giving credence where nothing was due, currying virtue.
Believed herself god when spouting her parroted wisdom.

And plans were made. And marriages. And better jobs.
While she, trawling the streets for miracles,
became the consciousness zombie –
body moving, comprehension nil.

This poem is from my latest book, Pagan to the Core, 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. Excerpts can be viewed via this page.

I’m known as a performance poet, which at this point means that I usually recite rather than read, and deliver the poems somewhat dramatically. The performance arose, I think, because I had done some acting, and being on stage seemed to invite a dramatic approach. One’s own text can be harder to recite initially; one has no protection. But it also feels good, and gives scope for expression. There are varying views on poetry performance. Me, I enjoy living in the words without the page in front of me. I also feel better connected to the meaning when I apply dramatic method. I must engage my body in order to understand, must act upon the matter, dance with it. Not all my poetry is so easy to speak or sing, but generally I give it a go, though I love to read silently too. For more thoughts on this, see my Blogs, particularly: Score, Present and Unacounted For and The Embodied Text.

My three-volume story for children, The Jimmy Meridian Story, is about the power and effects of thought, and is a fantasy.

Máighréad Medbh

Buy Savage Solitude: at the Dedalus Press website, or at Syracuse University Press

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

Video Links:
Interview Tall Girl Shorts 1999

Climacteric in the Extreme - YouTube
Performance at the University of Vigo

Buy Online

Pagan to the Core
Pagan to the Core
Arlen House 2014
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