Jane Clarke's first collection, The River, is published by Bloodaxe Books.

Originally from a farm in Roscommon, Jane now lives in Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow. In 2016 she won the Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry with three poems from The River. She also won the inaugural Listowel Writers' Week Poem of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. The River was shortlisted for the Royal Society for Literature Ondaatje Award, given for a distinguished work of fiction or non-fiction evoking the spirit of a place.

Jane gratefully acknowledges the award of a literature bursary from the Arts Council in 2017 for the completion of her second collection and for work on a collaborative poetry project with the Mary Evans Picture Library, London. 

Clear, direct, lovely: Jane Clarke’s voice slips into the Irish tradition with such ease, it is as though she had always been at the heart of it.

– Anne Enright, Laureate for Irish Fiction.

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Readings & News

Culture Night Events - Friday 21 September 2018

Jane will be performing "Poetry and Music of Wicklow" with Eamon Sweeney (guitars) and James Mahon (uilleann pipes) in Bridge Street Books, Wicklow at 3pm

& she'll be reading at the Poetry Ireland Trocaire event in Poetry Ireland HQ, 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1 between 5 & 6.30pm.

Dublin Festival of History

Jane will read from her sequence of WWI poems and give an overview of First World War poetry in Richmond Barracks on Wednesday 3 October 2018 at 11am. Free entry but booking is recommended.


Jane will facilitate a writing workshop, 'Revisiting the Line', as part of The Poetry Masterclass Series in The Irish Writers Centre, Wednesday 3 October 2018,  6.30pm - 8.30pm

She will also facilitate, 'Revisiting the Line' with Avoca Writers on Thursday 25 October 2018, 10 - 12 noon.


Jane will launch Breda Wall Ryan's Raven Mothers from Doire Press on Thursday 11 October 2018 at 6.30pm in Poetry Ireland, 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin.

Jane will launch Jessica Traynor's The Quick and Doireann Ní Ghríofa's Lies from Dedalus Press on Tuesday 30 October 2018 at 7pm in Poetry Ireland, 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin. 

More Readings

"Poetry & Music of Wicklow" with Eamon Sweeney (guitars) and Cormac Breatnach (susato whistle) at the Cloughlea Music Festival, Sunday 11 November 2018 in Kilbride, Co. Wicklow.

Reading in St. Dominic's High School, Belfast in February 2019.

Reading at The Listeners in Eden, Rathfarnham, Dublin on Monday 29 April, 2019.

Readings in Washington DC with Solas Nua, October 2019


When the Tree Falls, Jane's second collection, will be published by Bloodaxe Books in September 2019.

All the Way Home, an illustrated sequence of poems responding to a family archive of WWI photographs and letters will be published by Smith/Doorstop in April 2019, in collaboration with the Mary Evans Picture Library. 

Jane and Nessa O'Mahony are currently guest editing the forthcoming Irish issue of The North, one of the best loved UK poetry journals. 

Poems from The River will be translated into Romanian as part of a Bloodaxe collaboration with the MA Programme for the Translation of Contemporary Literary Texts (MTTLC) at the University of Bucharest.

Jane was featured in an article about writing in the Irish Independent Weekend Magazine, 8 September, 2018.

As part of Heritage Week 2018, Eamon Sweeney (guitars), Cormac Breatnach (susato whistle), James Mahon (uillean pipes) and Jane gave a series of performances in Bray, Tinahely and Hollywood; Music and Poetry of Wicklow.

In late August, Jane gave a reading alongside other authors from the anthology celebrating 250 years of Hodges Figgis bookshop, Reading the Future, New Writing from Ireland, Arlen House, 2018.

Tom D'Evelyn writes an appreciation of 'River at Dawn' from The River in his poetry & philosophy blog, 20 August 2018 - Form Matters

'Base Hospital, Boulogne', a poem from Jane's WWI sequence is featured on the Mary Evans Picture Library Blog, Poems & Pictures, 19 July, 2018.

One of the poems in Jane Clarke's World War One sequence was nominated by One Poetry Journal for the Best of Net US Awards, August 2018.

'Swan', a poem from Jane's forthcoming second collection with Bloodaxe Books is featured in a new anthology celebrating Patrick Kavanagh. The Lea-Green Down, edited by Eileen Casey and published by Fiery Arrow Press, was launched on 18 July, 2018.

Novelist & educator, Shauna Gilligan interviews Jane here about her forthcoming collection with Bloodaxe Books, When the Tree Falls.  

Jane gave a talk about writing poetry to the inaugural Lake District Summer School of Nature Writing, 30 June, 2018.

Journalist, Ronan McGreevy quoted from Jane's poem. "In Glasnevin" in his Irish Times article of 21 June, 2018 about the gay patriots who helped found the state.

Nessa O'Mahony interviews Jane and Geraldine Mitchell about poetry of place, nature and landscape in The Attic Sessions.

A new poem from Jane's WWI sequence is featured in the latest issue of One, a twice-yearly US poetry journal.

UCD Library Special Collections invited Jane to read eight poems for the Irish Poetry Reading Archive. All are published here on YouTube. 

Carlow Writers' Collective invited Jane to read at the Carlow Arts Festival, 10 June 2018.

Jane gave a reading alongside poet, Lemn Sissay and fiddler, Danny Diamond at the Strokestown Poetry Festival on 5 May 2018.

Jane gave a reading with poet, Michael Coady at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway on 24 April 2018.

The Herald Scotland featured two poems from The River, 'First Love' and 'Arctic Hare', 20 April 2018. POEM OF THE DAY is edited by Lesley Duncan. 

Near FM podcast from Monday 26th February where Jane reads a new poem, "Birthing the Lamb" and is interviewed about her work.

Poet, Ciarán O'Rourke interviews Jane here for his new website of Irish poets reflecting on their writing: Island's Edge, Poets on Poetry.

As part of Way with Words, a new Co. Wicklow literature festival, Jane facilitated a workshop to set up of new writing groups and hosted Moya Cannon's reading & an open mike in Arklow Library.

Jane judged the 2018 New Writing Poetry Prize for the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

The Irish Times published a new poem of Jane's on 6 January 2018, "She pulls herself up." This poem is in memory of Jane's close friend, the poet, Shirley McClure. 

Hodges Figgis marked its 250th year anniversary with an anthology of new Irish writing. Jane has a poem in this extensive anthology, Reading the Future, New Writing from Ireland.

An anthology of new poems in response to Patrick Kavanagh will be published later in 2018. Jane wrote a poem, "swan", in response to Kavanagh's beautiful lyric, "Consider the Grass Growing".

In March 2018, Jane was the guest speakers at the Briena Staunton Practice of Writing Seminar in the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, Trinity College Dublin.

Clonmel Literary Arts Society invited Jane to give a reading and lead a discussion of her work in February 2018.


Katie Donovan, Siobhan Campbell and Jane gave a reading to a full house in The Rathgar Bookshop on Thursday 30 November.

The new anthology, Metamorphic, 21st century poets respond to Ovid, was launched in Poetry Ireland on 29 November, 2017. Jane wrote a poem for it responding to the Arachne and Minerva story, "Weave".

Jane took part in a panel discussion and reading with Paula Meehan, Stephen James Smith and Philip St. John in The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely on 10 November 2017.

Jane read at the Avondale Voices Concert in St. Saviour's Church, Rathdrum on 5 November 2017 in aid of Rathdrum Cancer Support.

Jane recorded her poem, "In Glasnevin", on 31 October, 2017, for the Richmond Barracks exhibition to commemorate the 77 women imprisoned there after the 1916 Rising. The poem was inspired by the lives of Elizabeth O'Farrell and Julia Grenan, who had leading roles in the Rising. 

"Every Tree", a poem from The River, was Poem of the Day in The Herald (Scotland), 14 October, 2017.

Roscommon Country Council organised a series of writer workshops in schools. Jane worked with 5th year students in Roscommon Community College, 16 November 2017.

The Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaíon awarded Jane a literature bursary in September 2017 for the completion of her second collection.

"The Ringer", a poem from The River, was Poem of the Day in The Herald (Scotland), 14 September, 2017.

Jane read one of her new poems, "Ploughing in Wexford" on Poetry File, now featured in Evelyn Grant's Weekend Drive, at 5.50 pm, Saturday 30 September.

Jane gave a reading with poet, Geraldine Mitchell at the Bray Literary Festival, 23 September 2017, during which Nessa O'Mahoney interviewed them on the theme of "Poetry & Landscape."

Jane facilitated a writing workshop and gave a reading with local poets in the Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo, 9 September, 2017.

Jane has four new poems in the Summer 2017 issue of the North. Issue 58 is available to order from http://www.poetrybusiness.co.uk/.

"A Poem, An Image" - Jane and fourteen other poets are invited by Roscommon County Council Arts Office to respond to one of the fifteen new artworks by Roscommon artists on display in the Civic Offices, August 2017. The poems will be displayed alongside the artworks in September 2017. Jane has written a poem in response to "Friendship" by Carol Wood.

Jane gave a reading with Rita Ann Higgins and Louis de Paor at the Ledbury Poetry Festival 2017. Here is a Ledbury Poetry Festival video of the reading.

A new poem, "Four Storeys Up", was Poem of the Week on the RTE website from June 30 - July 30, 2017

American poet, Teri Cross Davis, and Jane gave a reading in Poetry Ireland on 29 June 2017.

Numéro Cinq published a new sequence of poems by Jane, in memory of her father - 13 June 2017.

Jane read a new poem, "Cattle Stick" on the Lyric FM Poetry File on 1 June 2017.

Jane read her Listowel Writer's Week Poem of the Year 2016, "In Glasnevin" at the Listowel Writers' Week Opening Night, 31 May, 2017.

"He stood at the top of the stairs", is featured in the first issue of Poetry Ireland Review to be edited by Eavan Boland. It is Poem of the Week on Poetry Ireland's homepage, 22 May 2017.

Jane read new poems at the Trocaire-Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition Awards Ceremony on 24 May, 2017 in the National Library, Dublin.

Jane recorded a poem, "Birthing the Lamb" for the weekly poetry feature on Near FM, community radio in Dublin North East; 23 May 2017.

Hingham Poetry Group invited Jane to give a reading in Hingham in May 2017. She also gave a reading in Jones Public Library, Amherst and a workshop in Cambridge, MA.

Poet, Thomas McCarthy, reviewed The River in the April 2017 issue of the TRUMPET, Poetry Ireland's literary pamphlet. "...this is poetry of exceptional beauty and accomplishment." See Reviews page for more detail.

Jane gave a workshop, Promoting Your Poetry, at a Poetry Ireland and Words Ireland seminar for Poetry Day Ireland, 27 April, 2017.

RTE Radio One's Drivetime broadcast a short interview with Jane on 27 April as part of a piece about Poetry Day Ireland.

"Cattle Stick", one of Jane's new poems will be broadcast on RTE Lyric FM Poetry File on 1 June, 2017 at 11 am.

A six poem sequence from Jane's new work will be published in an upcoming issue of the on-line journal, Numéro Cinq.

To celebrate National Poetry Month, April 2017 in the US, Standard Issue UK posted Hazel Burke's response to 'Back of an Envelope' from The River.

Jane has recorded two poems for the new RTE Lyric FM & Poetry Ireland poetry slot. Poetry File will be broadcast every Thursday at 11 am, starting on Ireland Poetry Day, 27 April, 2017.

Jane judged the 2017 Rush Harbour Festival poetry competition.

Jane is interviewed here about the influence of the river Suck in her first collection, The River.

Jane was one of the judges for the Poetry Ireland/Trocaire Poetry Competition 2017. 


Jane's poem, 'In Glasnevin', first published in The Irish Times, won the inaugural Irish Poem of the Year Award 2016 at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. Here's an interview from the awards night.

Jane has a new poem in the anthology in honour of Eavan Boland from Arlen House, Washing Windows? Irish Women Write Poetry. She also has a new poem in the recent issue of Prelude, a New York based journal.

The River was chosen as one of the 28 best poetry collections on a US blog for 2016 - you can read the selection here.

Jane was the guest reader on the Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker Poetry Masterclass in Ty Newydd, National Writing Centre of Wales, October 2016.

To mark Remembrance Sunday 2016, the Mary Evans Picture Library featured one of Jane Clarke's new poems here.

Jane travelled to the US in October 2016 for two readings and a workshop at the Los Gatos/Listowel Festival of Irish Literature. She also gave two readings in DC; a joint reading with Terri Cross Davis in the Hillyer Art Space with for Solas Nua and a reading with questions in St. John's Church, Lafayette Square. Pen/Faulkner Foundation invited Jane to give a workshop to students in Bell Multicultural High School, DC.

'Who owns the field?' from The River was the featured poem on the RTE website, September 17th 2016.

Jane Clarke won the 2016 Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry with three poems from The River, 'For Isobel', 'The Blue Bible' and 'Every Tree'. Poet and novelist, Paul Perry gave the judges' commentary: "The winner emerged with a clarity, a hard-earned singularity - a quiet modest voice, one which has an integrity of the lived life to it - neither showy, nor glib, no tricks, or easy punch-lines - but a definite and respectful sense of tradition. Fine detail marked these poems out, 'the fishtail chisel with its shallow sweep', 'the fiddleback grain'. Here are poems of memory, of childhood and affection, written with lyrical grace, finesse and elegance."

The River was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2016, for "a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry evoking the spirit of a place." One of the three judges, poet Moniza Alvi, praised the "quiet, lucid, subtle poems, nevertheless urgent in their presentation of a farming background in rural Ireland, and the poet's enduring attachment to it."

Jane is featured with a poem from The River, photographs and an interview in the August 2016 issue of Elementum, a new journal of nature and story.

To celebrate National Poetry Day UK, October 2016, Hazel Bourke wrote a response to 'Back of an Envelope" from The River.

Jane is also featured with an interview and a poem from The River in a new documentary about the river Suck.


Jane has two new poems & an interview in the current special issue of Poetry Ireland Review: The Rising Generation.

A poem from The River is included in a new collection of essays about Yeats, published by Lilliput Press & edited by Declan Foley: Yeats 150.

Jane reviewed an important new study in the May 2016 Dublin Review of Books, Contemporary Irish Women Poets: Memory and Estrangement by Lucy Collins, Liverpool University Press.

Jane gave a joint reading and interview with poet, Shirley McClure, in the University of Alicante, Benissa, Spain in October, 2015. From September to December 2015, Jane and Shirley also read together in the Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, Books Upstairs, Dublin, Bray Arts, Bray and the Imagine Festival, Waterford.