Mariah Whelan is a poet, teacher and interdisciplinary researcher from Oxford. Her debut collection, a novel-in-sonnets called the love i do to you, was published in November 2019 by Eyewear. Poems from the novel were shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, The Melita Hume Prize and the manuscript won the AM Heath Prize. A second collection of poems the rafters are still burning which explores writing, constructions of whiteness and museum archives is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in 2020.
Mariah is currently finishing a PhD in The Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester where she is writing a second collection of poems, researches trauma and representation in contemporary Irish fiction and teaches Creative Writing.
Mariah is a co-Creative Director of ‘Truth Tellers’ an interdisciplinary research project funded by King’s College London that brings artists and academics together to develop collaborative methodologies in the social sciences. Mariah also co-edits bath magg, an online magazine of new poetry that is a space for excellent writing from established and emerging poets.
the love i do to you is a novel-in-sonnets. The poems alternate between two voices: ‘he’ and ‘she’ who take turns telling their love story. The first two poems in this selection are from the first third of the book set in Newcastle upon Tyne during the financial crisis in 2009. Unable to get jobs the pair end up in South Korea (He) and Japan (She). The final two poems are set in these two countries.
Mariah’s book is a tour de force of writing, shuttling adeptly between continents and different perspectives and voices whilst all the while pressing the narrative along. In the podcast, Mariah and Niall discuss - amongst other things - why Mariah chose to write a novel in sonnets, where the inspiration for the book came from, and how she managed to craft the book successfully. Mariah also reads four poems from the book, available to read below, and explores the connections between them.