The Art of Nuance: Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Annemarie Ní Churreáin

02 November 2019, 5pm

The Art of Nuance, a reading by Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Annemarie Ní Churreáin as part of our annual commissioned writers programme, will be introduced by Susan Tomaselli, founder and editor of gorse journal.

Annemarie Ní Churreáin and Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s work has been commissioned by Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in an experimental programme that aims to support different kinds of writing about art. For this programme, we commission a writer each year to write short texts - taking their own tack, fiction, poetry, or otherwise - in response to the five gallery exhibitions that take place over the course of a year. The writings are published on our website and available in our Gallery. In 2019, Annemarie Ní Churreáin was our commissioned writer and Doireann Ní Ghríofa was commissioned in 2018.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Annemarie Ní Churreáin are two outstanding poets, acclaimed as part of a new generation of immensely talented Irish writers, gaining international recognition - pushing boundaries in contemporary poetry and experimental fiction. At this reading Ní Ghríofa and Ní Churreáin will read from a selection of their poems and experimental texts written in response to the gallery exhibitions, as well as from their published and current writing. The evening will include an introductory conversation with Susan Tomaselli who will discuss the themes in their work, their writing process and how they engaged with the TBG+S Writing Commission.

Annemarie Ní Churreáin was immediately recognised as a distinctive voice for literature on the publication of her debut collection Bloodroot (2018). Thomas McCarthy (poet) praises her ‘mature sense of the lyric form and a rare sense of lyric completion, rooted in the bloodroot of women’s history.” Her poems give voice to those who have been silenced or shut away; Ann Lovett, Joanne Hayes, her grandmother who survived a mother and baby home. Rooted in landscape, place, song and the spectre of a patriarchal state, her poetry can read as protest that resonates with the urgencies to break historical silences. Danielle Chapman (The Yale Times), speaks of the atmosphere of hiddenness and the possibility for revelation that provide the electricity in her poems. ‘Ní Churreáin, she writes, ‘slices into the profoundly layered complexity of image with clear lines of powerfully compressed feeling’.

When awarding Doireann Ní Ghríofa the Rooney Prize for Poetry, the Ireland Professor of Poetry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin remarked, ‘she is a poet to watch with a fresh view of the world: apparently ordinary houses, shops, common objects and activities. The sureness of her touch and the skill with which she handles language and shapes her poems are almost invisible, but it is through them that she achieves the feat of making us look again at the usual and illuminates its pulsating strangeness.’ Doireann Ní Ghríofa is remarkable also because she maintains a poetic practice in both Irish and English in poetry and prose and she frequently participates in cross-disciplinary collaborations fusing poetry with film, dance, music and visual. Writing on her first collection in English, Clasp (Daedalus, 2015), Cliona Ni Riordain, writes, ‘Ní Ghríofa raids the myth-kitty of both Irish and Greek mythology, weaving images of violence that combine the ancient and the modern in a poetry that is tense and tactile…The woman’s body is central to the collection, highlighted, visible, unconquered.’


Susan Tomaselli

Susan Tomaselli is founder and editor of gorse, a thrice-yearly print journal interested in the potential of literature and in exploring the art of words. A sister publishing house, Gorse Editions, was launched in 2017. She is formerly an editor at 3:AM Press, and co-editor of 3:AM Magazine. She has written for the Guardian, The Stinging Fly, and elsewhere.

Annemarie Ní Churreáin

Annemarie Ní Churreáin is a poet from Northwest Donegal. Her debut collection Bloodroot (Doire Press, 2017) was shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award for ‘Best First Collection’ in Ireland and for the 2018 ‘Julie Suk Award’ in the USA. She is the author of a suite of poems about Dublin titled Town (The Salvage Press, 2018). In 2016 Ní Churreáin was the recipient of an Arts Council Next Generation Artist Award. In 2017 she was awarded the inaugural John Broderick Residency Award. She is part of a collaborative poetry project which was granted a 2019 Markievicz Award. Ní Churreáin is 2019 Commissioned Writer at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and a 2019-20 Writer in Residence at Maynooth, Kildare. More information from

Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Doireann Ní Ghríofa writes both prose and poetry, in both Irish and English. Her artistic practice encompasses cross-disciplinary collaborations, fusing poetry with film, dance, music, and visual art. Among her awards are a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. She is a member of Aosdána. Her collections include, Irish-language collections (Résheoid, Dúlasair, and Oighear, all published by Coiscéim), and the bilingual pamphlet A Hummingbird, your Heart (Smithereens Press). Her first collection of poems in English was Clasp (Dedalus Press, 2015). Clasp was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Times Poetry Award, and was joint winner of the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize. Her most recent books are Lies (drawing on a decade of Irish poems in translation), and 9Silences a collaborative book of poems and art, with acclaimed visual artist, Alice Maher, created with Salvage Press.