THE RETURN OF THE BUFFALO
The Back Cover:
Whether dealing with grief at the loss of a father, a devastating personal tragedy or the vicissitudes of married love, Deirdre Cartmill’s The Return of the Buffalo attempts to make sense of an often harsh and seemingly meaningless world.
Central to the collection is a poem regarding a visit to Alcatraz in San Francisco – the site of a Native American occupation in the 1960s. Struck by parallels to her own experiences, Cartmill finds hope and consolation in this meditation on the Native American myth that the birth of a white buffalo calf and the revival of the buffalo population will herald a new age.
Other poems in the collection echo and deepen this desire to begin again.
While refusing to shy away from painful realities, The Return of the Buffalo is ultimately about the possibility of redemption.
The Back Cover:
The poems in Deirdre Cartmill’s eagerly awaited debut collection have their genesis in those tortured moments that spill out when you’re utterly alone – in the aftermath of a lover’s tiff, confronting the revenants of the shared past or coping with the loss of a father. These poems are often ferocious but always intensely human.
Cartmill views the world from the perspective of a new generation of poets who grew up through the conflict in the north of Ireland and who share a fractured sense of life and loss, who kick against the incongruity and irrationality which lingers in the post-conflict society, while struggling to envision a new normality.
Never self-indulgent, the poems of Midnight Solo broach important subjects and are often underpinned by a subtle ironic humour. Intellect collides with emotion in her short lyrics, her nervy and nimble use of forms and her ambitious longer sequences.
By turns uncompromising and intimate, always surefooted and compelling, these poems have an edge and resonance that stays with the reader. This is a powerful and assured debut from an exciting new voice.
“…an arresting first collection of ferocious and poignant verse.” Newsletter.
POETRY IN PUBLIC SPACE
BRIDGING THE SILENCE
Deirdre is one of the originating artists on the Corners European project Bridging The Silence – an audio walk and installation shown on pedestrian bridges that tells the stories of survivors of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, political violence and transgender issues. It mixes Deirdre’s poetic narration with real life testimonies, sounds and music. The project toured Europe and was shown in Croatia, Poland, Slovenia, the Basque Country, England and Belfast.
Deirdre co-commissioned the first Poetry Jukebox in Ireland alongside Maria McManus, and co-curated the first two presentations of this on-street sound installation of poetry, from Ireland and other places. You can listen to the Poetry Jukebox outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast.
RESIDENCIES / AFFILIATIONS
Affiliated to The Seamus Heaney Centre For Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast throughout 2011.
Writer-in-residence at The Belfast Book Festival 2011.
Writer in Residence at An Creagan, Omagh
Writer in Residence at MacNeice House, Belfast.
Deirdre’s poetry has appeared in the following anthologies.
New Soundings – Blackstaff Press
Breaking The Skin – Black Mountain Press
Hometown – ABC Publishing
Women’s Work VII – The Works
Poets For The Planet – The Green Party
Deirdre’s poetry has appeared in the following journals, magazines and publications:
The Sunday Tribune
The Stinging Fly
The Ulster Tatler Literary Miscellany
Black Mountain Review – issues 5, 8 and 11
Deirdre has read at venues across Ireland and beyond, including:
Muldoon’s Picnic at the John O’Connor Writing School – the first Muldoon’s Picnic outside New York
Belfast International Arts Festival
City of Culture, Donostia, Basque Country
The Belfast Festival at Queens
Over The Edge Readings Series, Galway
The Ulster Hall, Belfast
Lunchtime Poetry Readings, The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Belfast
Between The Lines Literary Festival, Belfast
Linenhall Library, Belfast
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry for Poetry Ireland
John Hewitt Summer School, Armagh
Marketplace Theatre, Armagh
Millennium Court, Portadown
Verbal Arts Centre, Derry
Munster Literature Centre, Cork
Clotworthy Arts Centre, Antrim
Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen
Poetry Ireland Introductions, Dublin