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

Originally from a farm in Roscommon, Jane now lives near 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.

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


Jane will give a number of readings & workshops in Ireland, the UK and the US over the next six months.


Poetry Ireland Day Workshop, as part of Poetry Ireland & Words Ireland afternoon focusing on the practical side of being a poet, Thursday 27 April, 1- 5.30. See here for details.

Reading at Féile Londubh Festival alongside Marie Heaney in Nun's Cross Church, Ashford on Saturday 29 April 2017.

Reading in Jones Public Library, Amherst on Thursday 4 May 2017 at 7 pm. Admission free.

Reading in Weld Hall, St John's the Evangelist Church, 172 Main Street, Hingham, Massachusetts on Thursday 11 May 2017 at 1.30 pm. Admission free.

Workshop in Boston on Saturday 13 May 2017, 2-4.30 pm. Workshop Title: "To set the darkness echoing".

Reading at Listowel Writers' Week, 31 May - 4 June, 2017

Reading at Ledbury Poetry Festival alongside Rita Ann Higgins and Louis de Paor, Friday 7 July, 2017, 3 - 4.45 pm

Reading and Workshop in the Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo, 9 September, 2017.



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 will judge the 2017 Rush Harbour Festival poetry competition, more details to follow.

Jane will have a new poem in the upcoming issue of Poetry Ireland Review, edited by Eavan Boland.

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

Jane is one of the judges for the Poetry Ireland/Trocaire Poetry Competition 2017. Entry closed & winners will be notified by 8 May.

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.

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

'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, 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 Dublin Review of Books, Contemporary Irish Women Poets: Memory and Estrangement by Lucy Collins, Liverpool University Press.