New Voices Majella Kelly and Mark Ward in conversation with Dani Gill
Join us for a morning of poetry as writer Dani Gill discusses their debut collections with poets Majella Kelly and Mark Ward. The Speculations of Country People (Penguin) by Majella Kelly reckons with the legacy of Ireland’s mother and baby homes, tracing the journeys of women in our own day, from controlling relationships to sexual reawakening and new happiness. Nightlight (Salmon Poetry) by Mark Ward is a journey through a city addressing sexuality, mental health, and the intricacies of relationships with a fresh eye and fierce command.
Majella Kelly is an award-winning Irish writer whose work has appeared widely. In 2020, her debut pamphlet Hush was published by Ignition Press, and ten of her poems featured in the Brotherton Prize Anthology. She won the Ambit Poetry Prize in 2018. The Speculations of Country People is her first book.
Mark Ward is the author of the collection Nightlight (Salmon Poetry, 2023) and four chapbooks: Circumference (FLP, 2018), Carcass (7KP, 2020), HIKE (Bear Creek, 2022) and the Choose Your Own Adventure sonnet Faultlines (voidspace, online 2022/print early 2024). He has been widely published in The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, Poetry Ireland Review, The North, fourteen poems, Banshee, Crannóg, Southword, Skylight47, The Honest Ulsterman and many more. He is the founding editor of Impossible Archetype, an international journal of LGBTQ+ poetry, now in its seventh year.
Dani Gill is a curator, producer, writer, and educator, based in the west of Ireland. Dani served as Director of Cúirt International Festival of Literature (2010-2016), Ennis Book Club Festival (2020-2022) and has held production and creative roles in theatre and film. She holds a Diploma in Community Development and Youth Work and is motivated by projects that seek to engage, inspire and reflect community. A love of landscape and cross-artform collaboration led her to found The Lighthouse Project in 2020: site specific responses to lighthouses around Ireland. She is the Performing Arts Curator for the Bealtaine Festival and is Co-Director of Match in The Dark with Brendan MacEvilly. Her debut collection After Love was made into a dance/theatre production and premiered at the Galway International Arts Festival in 2021. A short film of the same name featured in Irish and international film festivals in 2021 and 2022. Lessons in Kindness is her second collection.