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New Dublin Press 



New Dublin Press 


What does not change / is the will to change

- Charles Olson, The Kingfishers

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Kit Fryatt

Kit Fryatt



These are the days and place
of the sandhound
and the windyman
the dwarf leprechaun
swithers on his kapok
bum—his panstick
is No. 7 #0008, dung—
for tips, but he looks stood up.

The streets smell of shit
less than shat
yourself, a pebbledash
ziplock frowst
that means sweatshakes
spells jonesboner.

Unwind into a cooler lager;
the whole country’s a tommyshop
at this stage, relax.
Buy an act in a box
off an old lag
empty poke, notch it up.
Let out that tradesman’s Irish
mammy gasp, pull strings
the blunt surgeon says
you’re at risk of greater things.
Steel bones vex, cave. Con
this one weird old tip.

The boy with the mice in his eyes
still thinks you gotta have a repertoire


Nerys Williams

Nerys Williams

Exhibition Space
San Francisco International Exhibition, Treasure Island 1939-40

I have seen the future 
in a line of deco.

Making sure that nature is slight of shape 
and buildings spear the sky.

Although there are people 
who swore by their pure blood
(as Darwin did not say).

They found their science on display,
I will not measure myself this way.

My coloniale moderne
draws pacific into framing

extinction with exchange,
culture with capital.

Shape me your dynamo, your state seal,
or your Brooklyn Bridge in soap.

I have seen the future 
with its superintendents.

How savages are tamed by self-reliance 
(though Franklin’s biography is fake).

Fly me to the moon palace
far from the eugenicist's complaint:
Some people are born to be a burden on the rest.

Sing me the colour of Sun of Dawn, Yellow Pagoda.
Draw me trees in Ming Jade Green, Hawaiian Emerald.
Show me again the hope in Roosevelt’s smile.


Kimberly Campanello

Kimberly Campanello


for Savita Halappanavar 

Savita Halappanavar [17 weeks pregnant] presented with back pain at [University Hospital Galway], was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later…She asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. This was refused, [her husband] said, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”. She spent a further 2 ½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped. The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died.

- The Irish Times, November 4, 2012


When entering labour, the women of Innismurray would go to the slab just outside the graveyard and squat before it, looking out over the graves. The woman would reach up and grasp the slab by inserting her fingers into slots and her thumbs into two holes. Then she would pray.



Let us pray 

for the best view 

of graves

your heart pierced 

by a sword


in frames

across the nation

lucky you

worn slots 

for your hands 

to slide into




of stone 



Let us pray 

for the best view 

of graves 

put things

in perspective

across the nation

the captions say

the chain

around the neck is


of the Vikings’





for us



Let us pray 

for the 



of graves

Lord hear 




the nation




the cervix 

in His 


and so 




did Thomas not














Let us pray

for the

best view

of graves 

in the 


we were in

at the time

a Catholic country

the country

we were in

a country

a country

a cunt

we were in

at the time

any time

ordinary time

the 30th Sunday 

in Ordinary Time

in the country 

we were in 

in ordinary time 

in the country

Lord hear 

the womb 


for three 


in a country

time is a country

time is a cunt




the ashes

in the hold

of a plane 


an immense 

throng of mothers 

and those 

with child

out of the country

they were in

at the time

They departed

in tears

who will

console them

who will



to brooks 

of water

on a level road

so that none 

shall stumble

this time



Inishmurray island is off the coast of Co. Sligo, Ireland.

The date Savita Halapannavar died was the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time according to the Catholic Church calendar. Jeremiah 31: 7-9 was the first reading on that day at Catholic masses worldwide. Regarding the difficulty of explaining his wife’s death to her family in India where he took her ashes on November 3rd, Praveen Halappanavar told The Irish Times, ‘So I had to explain the whole thing, about the law there [in Ireland] and how [when] the foetus is live [...] some people even laughed at me. “That’s crazy,” they said. And I just had to tell them, that’s the way it is, that unfortunately that’s the country we were in at the time.’ Savita Halappanavar’s death highlighted the fact that abortion is illegal in Ireland and that there was a lack of legal clarity regarding whether doctors can terminate a pregnancy if the life or health of the mother is at risk. Due in great part to Irish and international debate after Halapannavar’s death, both houses of the Oireachtas (the Irish legislature) passed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, which allows for abortion if a woman’s life is at risk, including from suicide. On 30 July 2013, President Michael D. Higgins signed it into law. However, as The Guardian reports, ‘The legislation is unlikely to stop the abortion trail of women from Ireland to Britain. […] [A]bout 4,000 Irish women travelled to British hospitals and clinics to terminate their pregnancies last year.’ Additionally, ‘[t]he new law does not include those women seeking terminations because of rape or incest,’ and also does not extend to women whose fetuses that will not survive a full-term pregnancy or for long after birth.



Interview with Kimberly Campanello

Interview with Kimberly Campanello

What is the connection between your writing and your activism?

Before I came to Ireland, I was involved in a great deal of actual activism – demonstrations, marches, protests, lobbying, campaigns–for a range of issues, mainly LGBT and feminist. I say ‘actual’ activism because I believe that art can be a form of activism. Though it might not contribute directly to a change in a law or social redress of an issue, it can affect human consciousness more broadly. I’d like to think that art can have positive results in terms of our socio-political landscape, or at the very least our sitting-next- to-someone-on-the-bus experience. (This does not mean that art must be directly political in subject or inherently ‘accessible’ in form.)

My coming to Ireland coincided with my decision to fully commit myself to writing, which led me to relinquish any involvement in activist organising. Though I have shown up to protests, rallies, etc., I have not been involved in organising them as I had before. My energy has been re-directed into writing, but my overall mission remains the same – there is the 1960’s feminist term ‘consciousness-raising’ – there is also ‘consciousness’ in the Vedic sense.

Why this subject?

Frankly, the issue of abortion rights and access around the word is appalling, frightening – insert a list of superlatives here. In Ireland, it is particularly so, and this case demonstrated that to the extreme. I felt that based on my own artistic and political orientation, there was no way I could not write about this. Immediately following the death of Savita Halapannavar, I was traveling frequently between Dublin and London, say once a week. In London, people either hadn’t heard about the case, or couldn’t really grasp how this could happen. When I would get back to Dublin, I would feel this weight and shame and horror and fear. I was teaching at the Irish Writers’ Centre at the time, and we spent a lot of time talking about the responsibility of (Irish) writers to deal with this issue and with the ongoing problem of what is thought to be a legacy of problematic and life-threatening attitudes towards sexuality, but which in fact has been shown by this case to be the status quo. (That status quo continues despite the Act because so much is left out of it.)

This case affected me physically and emotionally, as it did a lot of people. No activist or politically minded person wants to say, ‘I told you so’ when something like this happens. Instead, it’s a sickening feeling as we wonder what could have/can be done. I think of the activists for women’s suffrage standing outside the White House (even during the outbreak of WWI when it was incredibly unpopular, just as the Easter Rising was looked down upon in Ireland by some) – standing in all weathers, being arrested, force-fed, etc. Ireland has a population of only 6.9 million all-in. Couldn’t we get some more people to the Daíl, to Stormont, on an ongoing basis even after 26 counties have been thrown the small bone of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act? As an organiser who has worked in a much larger country with many more people, I think, why not?

How did you approach formal aspects of the poem, especially with such a weighty subject?

Firstly, I was committed to writing a formally innovative poem that doesn’t spoon-feed the subject or the angle on that subject to the reader. I see art’s function as the ‘enhancement [...] of the processes of everyday life’ as John Dewey describes in Art and Experience. Dewey says that:

The hostility to the association of fine art with normal processes of living is a pathetic, even
tragic, commentary on life as it is ordinarily lived. Only because that life is usually so stunted,
aborted, slack, or heavy laden, is the idea entertained that there is some inherent antagonism
between the process of normal living and creation and the enjoyment of works of esthetic art.

For me, Dewey’s argument is vital. The impoverishment of our lives, mainly through the instrumentalisation of our bodies and minds in the service of profit, distances audiences from art. This distancing is not caused by the supposedly inaccessible or esoteric genre, content, or style of that art, as some might argue. Dewey supports what I see as the need for poets to persist in the making of poems despite the fact that poetry does not currently function in a consistent and significant manner in the lives of many people. And it further supports the making of innovative/experimental poems regardless of whether they are deemed ‘accessible’.

I had worked with found text before and gotten somewhere with it, so I began amassing text from The Irish Times from the day the story broke onward. I was also meditating on the notion of women’s power to ‘give life’ and the idea that this fact had led to Savita’s death. I had been writing a collection on the sheela-na-gigs and had also heard about the birthing stone on Innismurray, which Leland Bardwell has written a poem about. So all of this was in my head.

I am a poet who is drawn to ritual, to myth, and yet essentialism and its socio-political constraints scare the shit out of me because we know what happens when a society puts these ideas into practice – suddenly women aren’t allowed to drive, die because they can’t have abortions, aren’t allowed to go to school because it’s not their role, or are simply understood as needing to be controlled whether through advertising or legislation. I hope that ‘Birthing Stone’ suggests that even though women cannot entirely escape the dangers of childbirth and pregnancy (which is why the image of the birthing stone and sheela- na-gigs remain symbolically powerful), everything possible should be done to sustain women’s lives and their choices about their own lives. If women are, mythically and mystically speaking, to be entrusted with the power to give life, we should also be entrusted with handling that power on an actual level.

When I was writing the poem, manipulating the found text, the sound of the words ‘Ordinary Time’ kept popping into my head, probably because Savita’s husband Praveen was quoted as saying ‘the country we were in at the time’, and this was reprinted in article after article. Having grown up Catholic, I realised that ‘Ordinary Time’ refers to the church calendar and had a horrible sinking feeling that Savita had died on a Sunday in ‘Ordinary Time’ and that people in Catholic churches worldwide would have been hearing the same readings...again, the ritual aspect, again, the utter ordinariness of the grave circumstances in which women are placed.

Savita had, in fact, died on 28 October 2012, the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. When I read the first reading on the day she died, Jeremiah 31: 7-9 – ‘…I will gather them from the ends of the world, / with the blind and the lame in their midst, / the mothers and those with child…’ – the rest of the writing came very quickly.

Even more strangely, I realised while you and I were recording the poem on 27 October 2013 that it was also the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  I didn’t mention this then, but that’s part of why I had a hard time recording the poem in one take. I had the horrible feeling that it was the same Sunday, and it was.



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We had faith in the turns of your foundation.
What we’ve buried now, to a world magnificent
in space, in perjury of time, and in will – sheer will.

Take easy the tide, cold still with summer.
A vengeance of these sand stiles, walking over,
breathless, heedless, south of all borders. 

A service to the godhead; he remarked
on your Over Soul – these were parodies
of your once so righteous conditions.

Take a nickel or a dime for my vocation.
I have learned it; it’s had its use for me.
Guided as we were by indecision – taught 

Improvisation. We had faith in the turns of
your foundation. What we’ve buried now,
to a world magnificent in song, we are ended.


Nerys Williams

Nerys Williams

Houdini and I

In this day of dreams
on the Treasure Island
Hero's epic, Nation's hurt
we draw people we have
no memory of.

My handcuff king
emerges from the sea.

Full chromosomed
Hermes host,
migrant magician.

Failure means a drowning death
against straightjackets,
locks. chains, ropes and glass.

Torture cell metamorphosis
Breathe unhooked.



Houdini Speaks

I'm the falling man
I'm the cabaret man.

See the struggle of hands
phalanges, plated against trysts
of those who would break me.

Your man of a thousand prayers.
Adored Houdini would he not only die.

My public jackals, eyes upturned to heaven
waiting for suffocation to catch me –
Rosabelle, Believe.





Meeting the Philosophers

for Sally Perry

It could always be that
this form of thinking
never suited anybody.

How can the logic of a thought
communicate itself in the ice-plant vista
of a Californian sidewalk?

And if dogs have no expressed wishes
except possibly the quick way
of a tale untold – so be it.

I worry that a nice derangement of epitaphs
might mean exactly that.
The problem of whose language to know
is a figure of frenzy for two faces.

An Cueleator-  y Jac
could be the trump card.

As you question those who might play
and ignite the problem of mind,

we could ignore their painful prepositions
and instead marshal war against, or at,
the league of bald headed men.




Nursery Riot

In this land of giants and mice,
methods and madness,
Dogs in booties, gee up horses
falling down cobbles.

The flight of blackbirds through forests
frames the slow chords of bitterns in Banna.

Although we could always sail
in a frying pan past Kidwelly
where sweets are a halfpenny,

and all good news starts
with an old lady’s face,

I prefer children sleeping
tonight always thinking of tomorrow.

Unless of course Jac-y-Do
brings the minstrelsy of one
to play its part with butterflies selling beans,
monkeys in a photo shoot,
obstreperous cockerels and pigs buying tea.

Go Go Go

Ho Ho Ho

Hee Hee Hee.


Kit Fryatt

Kit Fryatt


No news good but a note from you
a line, son of havoc                              melt

morning errand
afternoon intercourse

                                    liquorice salt
                        wood on the downs
                                    silty coffee
                                    conies catch

the light is already evening long
before two p.m.

civil dusk, draw on


                                    don’t got no


                                               got cunnies tho

                        (pleasure beech, plz)

                        pine sober                 spruce & amorous

                        slap on Onan cans

& work, as we wake, into astronomical twilight

Nothing matters but a line from you

a note





                                     after Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (fl. 1180)

Sage and fool, humble in haughtiness
jealous and free and bold and wretched
I am when needs must, and joyful and abject
and I can be complaisant and gross
and base and adroit, churlish and courtly
mean and gentle, knowing good from naughty
and having the wit to choose what’s better
I only fail when I’m thwarted in desire.

In all my dealings I'm savvy and ingenious
save that my master-mistress has me distracted
when she humbles me in word and act I accept it
and am proud of it because she's gracious and gorgeous
and I want her beautiful body lying beside me
so much that I get right sweet-natured and free
and I'm wretched because I daren't ask her favour
and too bold because I want what's past compare.

Beautiful lady, source of my joyfulness
I’m abject because I want you and I daren’t—
for you make me graceful in the eyes of the great
provoking provokers, engrossing the gross
I’ll shrink into meanness if you won’t have mercy
my worth depends on your thinking me worthy
as I’d have churls consider me a boor
and Their Graces, something of a cavalier.

My songs disparaged love, once
because a beautiful liar gave me such wounds
but you, lady, replete with everything good,
offer both bounty and recompense—
what Love, and you, have promised me
is a hundred times more than any knight’s fief
and you are worth so much more again, again more
I want you (fear I’ll lose you) and to be your conqueror.

Joy and youth and all the sweet courtesies,
lady, your lovely form clothed in intellect
has got you the ear and the regard of the élite
and, by my faith, if I had the good chance
to please you with my songs or my body
I would possess merit in the topmost degree
and beauty too, I may announce and aver
because my eyes tell me so, and my ears.

My Britomartis, clemency and mercy,
the long love and absolute fidelity
I render you should warrant the favour
of candid love, I can hope for no better.
Lady Biatritz, your fair and courteous mien
your beauty and merit universally clear
make my songs swell up with vigour and swagger
because you gild them with your peerless treasure.

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Martin Nevin

Martin Nevin




'Surely there is no greater excitement than that of composition. I am dead when I cannot write and when I am at it I burn with a fever till one would think me mad.'


William Carlos Williams, Letter dated March 23, 1921




cover art:
A Part Apart by Ryan Harmon

Film Director:
Tom Speers

Jonelle Mannion, Sadhbh Burt Fitzgerald

Jonathan C. Creasy

Managing Editor:
Eimear Fallon