Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 15 May 2019

  • Landscape 

    there is no turf where I’m from
    no sponge fertile ground
    my landscape is a tarmacadam road
    at the foot of the Dublin Mountains
    my childhood home a four-bed semi 

    I remember the progression
    of cars 


    and the day my mom arrived
    with her very own
    ancient Opel Bluebird
    the same colour as the Loreto nuns
    and the same age as me
    in my final year of secondary school 

    I sat up front with her
    pleased as punch not to be biking home
    past the throngs of teenage boys from the other school
    in my brown skirt
    and long gabardine coat 

    when we pulled up to the drive-thru
    my heart sang for a cheeseburger
    we sat on woolly seats
    munching fries in the car park
    of a suburban shopping mall 

    unaware of the blue-grey tint
    poised by the mountains
    just behind our backs


    by Julie Morrissy 

    This week’s poet, Julie Morrissy, will be launching her new tall-lighthouse collection, Where, the Mile End, on Monday 20 May at the Poetry Café in London alongside another tall-lighthouse poet, Brendan Cleary, whose book Do Horses Fly? is inspired by the images created by the photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Find out more about the event here.

    If you happen to be in Oxford rather than London on Monday (20 May), join the Poetry Centre and the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture as we welcome acclaimed poet Gillian Allnutt to Oxford. Spaces for this event are limited, so please register here.

    Looking forward, don’t forget to register for the exciting reading with Ilya Kaminsky and Shara Lessley on 26 June, the symposium ‘Our Poetry and Our Needs’ on 9 July, and the launches of our latest ignitionpress pamphlets on 22 and 23 July. There are more details on all of these events here.

    Finally, if you’re keen on filmmaking and poetry, why not enter our filmpoem competition! Choose a poem by one of our ignitionpress poets, respond to it in a short film, and win prizes and screenings! The deadline is 7 June, and there are more details on our blog.

    Julie Morrissy is an Irish poet, academic, and critic. She is a recipient of the Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council of Ireland. Her debut pamphlet I Am Where (Eyewear, 2015) was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards. She earned her PhD in Creative Writing at Ulster University, and she is the Newman Fellow in Creativity at University College Dublin. 

    Where, the Mile End, published in conjunction with Book*hug Press, Canada, sees tall-lighthouse return to publishing under its original owner/director, Les Robinson. This is poetry with an edge, employing an energetic lyric that follows the poet through Europe, the US, and Canada. Morrissy introduces a deft awareness of image, rhythm, and poetic realisation. The poems intimately link the vitality of two continents, tightly holding the reader to the snow, the streets, and the sensual memories embroidered throughout. Find out more about the book here.

    tall-lighthouse has a strong reputation for publishing new talent, and was the first in the UK to publish Helen Mort, Sarah Howe, Liz Berry, Ailbhe Darcy, Adam O’Riordan, Rhian Edwards, Emily Berry, Vidyan Ravintharan, Kate Potts and many others. Find out more on the tall-lighthouse website, or find the press on Facebook and Twitter.

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.