I was the Irish Writers Centre’s Roaming Writer–in-Residence on the railways in 2019. I wrote a sequence of haiku inspired by my journeys. You can listen to this 5 minute audio journey of the haiku sequence CROSSING POINTS by clicking here.


Deirdre’s second collection The Return of the Buffalo was published in 2013. You can read a poem from it here.

You can also read a review here, an interview here and read other poems online at the following publications:

Reactions 5 



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.


Midnight Solo was published in 2004 and is available from Amazon. You can read a poem from it here.

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.



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. Deirdre’s poem Between Crossing & Passing also featured on the Travelling Poetry Jukebox ‘A Deeper Country’ Curation at CS lewis Square, Belfast. You can listen to the Poetry Jukebox outside the Crescent Arts  Centre in Belfast.


Irish Writers Centre Roaming Writer-in-Residence 2019

Community Writer in Residence at Womens Aid 2018.

Artist in Residence at The Belfast International Arts Festival 2017.

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.

Reading the Future: New Writing from Ireland Celebrating 250 Years of Hodges Figgis – Arlen House

Our Shared Japan – Dedalus Press

The Blackbird’s Nest – Blackstaff Press

Magnetic North – Lagan Press

Reactions 5 – Pen & Inc Press

New Soundings – Blackstaff Press

Breaking The Skin – Black Mountain Press

Hometown – ABC Publishing

Women’s Work VII – The Works

The Lonely Poet’s Guide To Belfast – New Belfast Community Arts Initiative

Poets For The Planet – The Green Party


Deirdre’s poetry has appeared in the following journals, magazines and publications:


Poetry Ireland

The Shop

The Sunday Tribune


The Stinging Fly



The Ulster Tatler Literary Miscellany



Oxford Magazine

Black Mountain Review – issues 5, 8 and 11

Flaming Arrows



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

Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris

Belfast International Arts Festival

City of Culture, Donostia, Basque Country

The Belfast Festival at Queens

The Belfast Book Festival

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

Poems for a Sunday Afternoon, Write! Down, Down Arts Centre

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


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