Deirdre Cartmill is a poet, writer and writing mentor based in Belfast.

Her latest poetry collection The Return of the Buffalo was published by Lagan Press in 2013. Her debut collection Midnight Solo was published in 2004.

The Return of the Buffalo deals with grief and loss, and attempts to make sense of the seemingly meaningless, but this is always weighted with how suddenly, unexpectedly joyous life can be. Midnight Solo is written from the perspective of a generation who grew up through the conflict in the north of Ireland and their struggle to envision a new normality in a post-conflict society.

She received an ACES Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2011 and spent a year affiliated with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s, University, Belfast where she started work on her third collection. She has received four Literature Awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, been shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award and been a finalist in the Scottish International Poetry Competition. Her poetry has been widely published and anthologised.

She has given many poetry readings at events and festivals, such as at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, the Belfast Festival at Queen’s and the Belfast Book Festival. She is currently touring with Bridging The Silence, a Corners of Europe project in collaboration with artists from across Europe.

She’s also an award winning screenwriter and has written for theatre, film, television and radio.

Her play The Lost Souls Party toured N. Ireland as part of Terra Nova’s Arrivals 2 production in spring 2015 and her play No Paths That Are Ending toured Northern Ireland as part of Terra Nova’s Arrivals production in spring 2014. Her short film Two Little Boys was selected for The Belfast Film Festival 2013.

She has written for RTE’s Fair City and award winning Irish teen drama Seacht. She was a top ten finalist in the inaugural Red Planet Prize, won the Claddagh Films Script Award and was a winner in the BBC Writersroom Undercover competition for staff. She was one of 12 writers from across the UK selected for Channel 4’s Screenwriting Course in 2011.

She has also had short fiction published.

She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Queen’s University, Belfast. She’s been a Writer-in-Residence at the Belfast Book Festival 2011, An Creagan, Omagh and MacNeice House, Belfast.

She is a sought after writing mentor and an experienced creative writing workshop facilitator. She is part of Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools scheme. She has facilitated workshops for the BBC, Poetry in Motion, Big Telly Theatre Company, Artscare, Libraries NI, Monaghan Libraries and the WEA. She has also facilitated many creative writing workshops for writers’ groups and community groups.

You can view videos of her tips on writing on the BBC’s Get Writing website.


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