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Vona Groarke

Groarke’s fine lyricism and wit are present as never before, the humour more mordant, the vision darker; yet the poems are so exact and fine, it is an exhilarating read . . . This is a collection to exult in.

— Martina Evans on Double NegativeThe Irish Times


In his talk on Vona Groarke at the Irish Arts Center, New York, Nick Laird described her poems as ‘always modulated beautifully, assured and daring, often wry, (that) in the end keeps faith with the world’.

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Vona GroarkeVona Groarke was born in the Irish Midlands in 1964. She attended Trinity College, Dublin and University College, Cork. She has lived in Dublin, Cork and Dundalk and has been writer-in-residence at universities in Galway and Maynooth and was co-holder of the Heimbold Chair in Irish Studies at Villanova University (2004). A member of Aosdána she was selected as a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library 2018/19 and teaches in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. Vona Groarke is St John’s College, University of Cambridge, Writer in Residence for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Her collections published by The Gallery Press include Shale (1994), Other People’s Houses (1999), Flight (2002, shortlisted for the Forward Prize (UK) and winner of the Michael Hartnett Award in 2003), Juniper Street (2006), Spindrift (2009), X (2014), both Poetry Book Society Recommendations, Selected Poems (2016) and Four Sides Full (2016, a book-length personal essay), Double Negative (2019, shortlisted for the 2020 Irish Times Poetry Now Award) and Link (Poet and World) was published in 2021.

,In 2002, The Gallery Press published the Irish classic, The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith with an Introduction by Vona Groarke and with illustrations by Blaise Drummond. In 2008, her version of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s eighteenth-century Irish poem was published as Lament for Art O’Leary and Woman of Winter, a version of the ‘Lament for the Hag of Beare’ with illustrations by Isabel Nolan, was published in September 2023.

Awards include the Hennessy Award, the Brendan Behan Memorial Prize, the Michael Hartnett Award, Strokestown International Poetry Award and the Stand Magazine Poetry Prize. In 2017 she received the Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for outstanding contribution to literature.

Woman of Winter by Vona Groarke cover

Woman of Winter

Woman of Winter is a version of ‘Lament of the Hag of Beare’ from 9th century Irish which draws on contemporary experience of the ageing female body, its desires and accommodations; its occlusions and slightings.

With illustrations by Isabel Nolan.

€15.00 pb

Vona Groarke Titles


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‘The Front Door’ from Selected Poems (2016).

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‘Away’ from Spindrift (2009).

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‘Pier’ from Spindrift (2009).

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‘An Teach Tuí‘ from Spindrift (2009).

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